In its third year, Small Business Saturday has proven to be a success for local businesses around the country.
Small Business Saturday was started in 2010 by American Express, and has grown since then. More than 100 million Americans participated in the event last year, and this year, even the president got in on it. He took his daughters, Sasha and Malia, Christmas shopping at an independent book store called One More Page Books in Arlington, Virginia.
“These businesses create two out of every three new jobs in America, helping spur economic development in communities across our country and giving millions of families and individuals the opportunity to achieve the American dream,” President Obama said to Small Business Saturday supporters.
John Solow, a professor of economics at the University of Iowa, said it wasn’t surprising that the event got more attention this year than it has in the past.
“The economy is improving,” he said. “It’s improving slowly but it is improving, and as it does, consumers are going to spend. They’re not quite so worried.”
A recent report supported Solow’s claim, and found that Americans’ confidence in the economy is at its highest since February 2008, which was two months into the Great Recession.
The Conference Board said its consumer confidence index increased from 68.4 in September to 72.2 in October. The confidence in the economy was attributed to better job growht. Hiring in July and August was stronger than originally thought, and employers added 114,000 jobs in September.
The confidence level is still a ways off from the 90 percent that indicates a health economy. That level was last reached in December 2007. But it is also a long way off from the all-time low of 25.3 that was hit in February 2009.
Did you participate in Small Business Saturday?