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Small Business Saturday helps consumers support their local communities, experts say. Photo: American Express

After you recover from all the turkey, wine and family time on Thanksgiving, it’s time to kickstart your holiday shopping. If you’re looking to support your community as you find your scores, New York City shops are ready for you on Small Business Saturday and beyond.

There’s no shorting of options when shopping in New York City, but what makes the five boroughs so unique are all its small businesses. According to 2016 New York City Economic Development Corp. data, there are more than 32,000 small business retail establishments acorss the city.

And when you shop small, you’re also giving back to everyone in that neighborhood, which is a way to preserve the New York City neighborhoods you love.

An average two-thirds (67 cents) of every dollar spent at a small business stays in the local community, according to a new Small Business Economic Impact Study from American Express.

 

“If you’re spending [a dollar] at a local business, the owner of the business most likely lives in your neighborhood, they’re spending their money at the local grocery store, their kids are going to school in same neighborhood. That money is sort of reinvested,” said Tux Loerzel, marketing manager at Whisk, a kitchen shop that opened in 2008 and is owned by Brooklyn locals.

“It definitely makes a difference if money is staying in your area,” he added. “Instead of all that money going back to wherever Walmart's headquarters are, sitting in a bank account somewhere.”

Whisk has expanded to three locations over its 10 years as a New York City small business — Manhattan, Williamsburg and Brooklyn Heights. At the Manhattan store on Small Business Saturday, Whisk will hold an Instagram contest, where whoever posts a photo of themself in the store with the hashtag “SBSWhisk2018” could win a set of bitters from Hella Cocktail Co., another small business based in Queens.

nyc small business saturday
Whisk's 197 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn Heights storefront. Photo: @whisknyc/Instagram

On Small Business Saturday, Whisk tends to see an increase in shoppers, but Loerzel said he hears from New Yorkers who are grateful for the shop all year around.

“People not only thank us for just existing in their neighborhoods, so they don’t have to travel outside of their neighborhood to shop, but also we’re offer [for] offering more unique things they might not find at a chain,” he said.

Even with that support, New York City small business still have to compete with bigger retailers. Whisk, like other shops, will have special Small Business Saturday discounts to entice customers. A variety of Small Business Saturday events will take over New York City streets, as well.

NYC Small Business Saturday events

American Express created Small Business Saturday in 2010, and now the specially-designated shopping day is in its ninth year.
For the 2018 Small Business Saturday, Park Slope Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District (BID) will host a carnival down Fifth Ave with stilt walkers, live music and carolers beginning at 4 p.m., and then a tree lightning at 6 p.m.

Flatiron 23rd Street Partnership is celebrating with a Social Media Scavenger Hunt throughout the Manhattan neighborhoods to usher shoppers through New York City small business doors, as well as highlighting local Small Business Saturday deals.

Long Island City Partnership will be handing out Small Business Saturday maps and totes, and more events thoughout the five boroughs can be found via the #shopsmall hashtag.

NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) will lead a small Business Saturday tour along Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, beginning at 11 a.m., which will also help New York City small business owners as they can ask questions and learn about resources to keep their business going.

“Small Business Saturday is one of the most important times of the year for shoppers and business owners alike – up to 30 percent of annual sales are earned by small business owners in the coming weeks,” said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of NYC SBS, in an email. “This Saturday, please join me and the Small Business Saturday Coalition in celebrating businesses that enrich our neighborhoods -  by shopping small this season. Check out our online NYC Love Your Local map to get started.”

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