Support Local Businesses with Holiday Gift Purchases, Dining, and More  

Shop Small Logo, by American Express
Shop S​mall Saturday, orginally created and marketed by American Express, is a national effort to use the Saturday after Thanksgiving to shop and support local small businesses. UT Extension says these efforts can help support local economies and provide many benefits to communities. Logo courtesy American Express. 

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday is November 30 and, according to University of Tennessee Extension, is a great way to support the economy of your local community.

“When small businesses thrive, so do communities,” says Ann Berry, UT Extension professor and financial expert. “Most small businesses operate within a tight radius, which means that owners, employees, and customers are often part of the same community. When these operations thrive, communities can see an increase in their local economy, resulting in reduced rates of poverty, access to greater health coverage options for workers, and a greater sense of connection between neighbors and community members,” continues the expert.

“In 2018, U.S. consumers reported spending an estimated $17.8 billion at independent retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday, a record high. This translates to thousands of dollars in many Tennessee communities and small businesses that thrive,” adds Berry. 

There are many ways to support a local business on Small Business Saturday. Consumers can choose to shop for holiday gifts and possibly discover one-of-a-kind treasures for loved ones at local vendors, rather than big box stores. Enjoying a meal, a snack, or a locally brewed coffee or tea is another way to support local businesses on November 30.

On social media, shoppers can use multiple hashtags to join the conversation locally and nationally to encourage friends to shop small as well:


Small Business Saturday was created by American Express in the midst of the 2009-2010 recession to encourage consumers to bring more of their dollars to small businesses in their local communities.

Sometimes referred to as Shop Small Saturday, the annual event has produced more than $103 billion in revenue for small businesses over the past ten years.  

For more financial resources, contact the family and consumer sciences agent at your local county Extension office. You can also visit the UT Extension Family and Consumer Sciences website at

Through its land-grant mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions.​.



Ann A. Berry, professor, UT Extension Family and Consumer Sciences, 865-974-8198,