Show Your Local Community Support and Shop Eastern Oregon’s Small Businesses This Holiday Season

Show Your Local Community Support and Shop Eastern Oregon’s Small Businesses This Holiday Season Main Photo

22 Nov 2021


There is a trend growing across the country that everyone can get behind: Shop Local! Saturday, November 27 is Small Business Saturday, organized more than a decade ago to highlight the importance of small businesses to local economies. It continues to be the perfect opportunity for holiday shoppers to help small businesses and familiarize themselves with the entrepreneurs who bring their products and services to benefit customers all year long.

Small business; large impact!

Not only is the date a perfect time for customers to patronize local shops and kick off the holiday shopping season, but it is an excellent opportunity to develop a year-round recognition of their importance. The National Federation of Independent Business reported that from 2010 to 2018, $103 billion in sales has been generated for small businesses on Small Business Saturday. In 2018 alone, it reported 104 million shoppers spent $17.8 billion!

The U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy reported there are 32.5 million small businesses in the country employing 46.8% of the private workforce and creating 43.5% of gross domestic product. For Oregon, the number is 396,925 small businesses and 893,758 million employees, or 54.9% of the state's total.

Small businesses fill a critical role as a primary player in a community’s employment base. The Office of Advocacy reports small businesses have accounted for 62% of net new job creation since 1995. Most small businesses hire employees who live close to their operations, so that job creation is an incredible boost to local economies.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on career plans for so many individuals. The U.S. has seen a surge in business starts, with applications for new ventures increasing 24% in 2020 over 2019, according to data from the Census Bureau. As entrepreneurs begin their journey, they face a critical juncture. The Office of Advocacy reports that from 1994 to 2019, approximately two-thirds of new employer establishments survived at least two years, with the five-year survival rate approximately one of every two businesses.

Plans for Customers

With so many new businesses cropping up, it is more important than ever to support them during their critical startup phase. Small Business Saturday is an excellent time to begin, with the following actions applicable throughout the year as well!

  • Engage with your friend circle on social media to let them know about your favorite stores. Retweet and like a photo or post to your neighborhood Facebook page!
  • Purchase a gift for this holiday season and then buy a gift card to use later in the year!

Dedicate your time! While purchasing goes directly to a small businesses’ bottom line, visiting these establishments regularly is just as critical. Local establishments often have only a few employees who work long hours without a chance to get out to other parts of the community. Stopping in for a quick chat will let these entrepreneurs know their services are valued. Send an email or drop them a call to express how much you value their offerings.

Where to Shop Local

Beginning with Small Business Saturday, many of our Eastern Oregon communities are promoting their small businesses throughout the holiday season. Some of the activities are listed below, along with organizations that can answer questions customers have.

Customers can search through the local business directory to locate the small business to meet any need, from arts and crafts, to restaurants and other specialty items. November 26 and 27 are Plaid Friday and Small Business Saturday, two excellent opportunities to promote the local, independently owned businesses during the holiday season. 

Baker County Chamber of Commerce

Grant County Chamber of Commerce

Harney County Chamber of Commerce

Union County Chamber of Commerce

La Grande Main Street Downtown

Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative is proud to help the small businesses and consumers throughout Eastern Oregon. Find out more about how we can help during the holidays by contacting us here.