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TRENTON – Two resolutions sponsored by Senator Shirley Turner urging residents to observe “Small Business Saturday” this weekend and to shop local throughout the holiday season were approved by the Senate today.

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.

“Our small businesses are the engines of our economy,” said Senator Turner.  “They create jobs and the money we spend locally stays local.  Our small businesses deserve to have our support all year round, but especially during the busiest shopping time of the year.  The multiplier effect of spending locally helps our communities thrive and supports our friends and neighbors who own or are employed by independent businesses. Choosing to buy your holiday gifts locally enhances the value of the gift tenfold because it touches so many other parts of our community. The dedication small business have to the children in the community is unprecedented; as costumers we need to show our appreciation and gratitude.”

According to a 2016 survey released by the National Retail Federation (NRF), nearly six in 10 Americans — an estimated 137.4 million people — plan to or are considering shopping this weekend in stores and online. New Jersey is home to approximately 790,000 small businesses. According to statistics from the NRF, there are more New Jersey jobs supported by the retail industry than weekday New Jersey Transit riders.

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.

“We know that small businesses don’t have the ability to market themselves to the same extent as larger ones that are promoting Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales.  The Senate Resolutions passed today help to promote small businesses and raise the level of consciousness among consumers about the benefits of buying local,” said Senator Turner.

NRF expects retail sales in November and December (excluding autos, gas and restaurants) to increase a solid 3.6 percent to $655.8 billion. Online sales are forecast to increase between 7 and 10 percent over last year to as much as $117 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.

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. Black Friday remains the big day for most Millennials to shop: 86 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds and 78 percent of 25 to 34-year-olds.

SR-43 and SR-44 both cleared the full Senate by a voice vote.

Copies of the resolutions will now be sent to the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Chief Executive Officer of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.

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