Shop small for the holidays

Mike Vlacich is the US Small Business Administration’s New England Regional Administrator. Mr. Vlacich is a first-generation American and the first in his family to attend college, graduating from the University of New Hampshire in 1995. He lives in Concord with his wife and two daughters.

As the New England Regional Administrator for the US Small Business Administration (SBA) appointed by President Joe Biden, I work every day with associates in New Hampshire and New England to support the 1.5 million small businesses in our region of the country.

We’ve been through some very challenging times due to the pandemic, but together we’ve been able to keep businesses open, growing and keeping employees on the payroll.

As we move towards the holiday season, it’s time to think local and shop small. It makes sense on so many levels to travel locally to shop and reinvest your hard-earned dollars back into your community.

For two years, the pandemic prevented us from spending time in our beautiful downtowns, villages and neighborhoods for the essential New England shopping experience, but this year we don’t have to. In fact, last year marked a strong return to the traditional Christmas shopping season, with heavy participation on Small Business Saturday.

This year, Small Business Saturday will take place on November 26th, marking the 13th celebration of this event. Small Business Saturday, celebrated each year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, is a way for consumers to make a difference in their community by supporting independent businesses during the holiday season.

Last year, shoppers came out in full force to support their local communities, and Small Business Saturday hit a record high with an estimated $23.3 billion in reported spend at independent retailers and restaurants on the day.

We all have choices when it comes to our Christmas shopping, and luckily our region of the country offers plenty of small business opportunities for shopping and dining. The choice is yours and I hope you will make small purchases whenever possible this holiday season.

Shopping small on Small Business Saturday is one way to support the businesses that help keep our communities vibrant. Each year we encourage independent businesses to use Small Business Saturday to drive more traffic to their businesses.

In addition to the president’s historic economic agenda that will make transformational investments in the middle class and mission to create an economy that works for everyone, this year’s Small Business Saturday will offer American consumers a chance to come together and support small businesses of all kinds and have been doing so for years the cornerstone of communities in our country

Please join me in doing small shopping, not just on Small Business Saturday and during this holiday season, but as often as possible. Our local shops and restaurants depend on our continued support.