TRENTON – With the start of the busy holiday shopping season, Senate President Steve Sweeney and Senator Shirley Turner urged New Jersey residents to “shop local” and to support small businesses in their home communities. As “Black Friday” kicks off the traditional post-Thanksgiving period of retail business activity in advance of “Small Business Saturday,” Senator Sweeney and Senator Turner emphasized the value and benefits of supporting local businesses.
“Supporting local businesses is good for the economy and good for the community,” said Senator Sweeney. “Small businesses are the source of the greatest job creation and local businesses are vital to the vitality of their home communities. They’re among the most generous supporters of civic groups, local charities, youth sports, schools, and virtually every other form of community activity.”
New Jersey is home to approximately 790,000 small businesses that, according to statistics from the National Retail Federation, employ an estimated 1.73 million individuals with an annual payroll of more than $75 billion. According to the Small Business Administration, more than half of all Americans either work for, or own, a small business, and small businesses create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and our state will not thrive without their success,” said Senator Turner, who sponsored two resolutions approved in the Senate on Thursday calling for the observation of “Small Business Saturday” this weekend and urging consumers to shop locally throughout the holiday season. “This season, we can do our part to support the sustainability of businesses and jobs in New Jersey by patronizing the businesses operating on ‘Main Street’ and in our downtowns.”
Small Business Saturday will be held on Nov. 26 and is a day that is promoted by small businesses across the country to encourage residents to purchase holiday gifts at smaller stores and businesses in their communities the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
The NRF expects retail sales in November and December to increase a solid 3.6 percent to $655.8 billion. Retailers are expected to hire between 640,000 and 690,000 seasonal workers this holiday season, in line with last year’s 675,300 holiday positions.
Business owners say that millennials continue to be the targeted demographic, and the most likely to shop this holiday season. According to the survey, 77 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds and 76 percent of 25 to 34-year-olds plan to shop over the weekend.