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In Support of Small Business Saturday

Local is the new black.

You, as an entrepreneur, understand the importance of investing dollars in local markets and of supporting endeavors such as Small Business Saturday. Now is a great time to be an owner of a locally-owned enterprise.

More than ever, shoppers are aware of the benefits of investing in their neighborhoods. In 2016 alone, the US small business sector was estimated to have an estimated 28 million businesses and was responsible for 54% of all domestic sales.

Between better customer service, benefits to the local economy and direct access to an expert, the opportunities for touting the benefits of local shopping are plentiful. The good news: you don’t have to work hard to encourage consumers to act upon this idea.

business owner

There are available resources and incentives to encourage entrepreneurship here in Charlottesville and in Virginia as a whole.

It is Charlottesville Business Innovation Council‘s mission to “educate, celebrate and advocate for Charlottesville’s technology community” by giving support to the high-tech businesses in the area.

Centra Virginia SCORE is a resource that serves the counties of Albemarle, Culpeper, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, Madison, Nelson and Orange by providing mentoring and other assistance for those looking to start a business or improve their existing business strategy.

Central Virginia’s Partnership for Economic Development offers counseling, information, and training to Central Virginia’s entrepreneurs.

BlackOwnedCville is a resource that allows you to look for goods and services sourced from local businesses owned by black residents of Charlottesville.

Finally, the City of Charlottesville’s Office of Economic Development has resources available to women and minority entrepreneurs.

Small Business Saturday and the Shop Small Movement

On RetailWire this week author Tom Ryan invites small business owners to join the discussion in his article, American Express doubles down on ‘Shop Small’ .  As the interest in Small Business Saturday and the Shop Small Movement continues to grow, it is important to consider how to take advantage of any buzz created but also look beyond these events to truly develop more lasting strategies in order to grow local business.

American Express is offering promotional support with the larger than life charm and wit of Shaquille O’Neal.  This day to support the local business owner has been developing since inception in 2010 and generated $16.2 billion in 2015 according to the article.  However, according to one of the insightful comments following the article, “Small businesses need to do more than “wait to participate” in events.”

READ MORE HERE

 

2016 Holiday Sales and Staffing Forecast

Things are looking up this holiday season based on the National Retail Federations (NRF) forecasting models.  Although global instability, weather and elections can have an impact on the economy, consumers are typically resilient and seem to be poised to spend more this year than in 2015.

holiday season, seasonality, staffing

According to a recent article, the NRF “expects sales in November and December, excluding autos, gas and restaurant sales, to increase a solid 3.6 percent to $655.8 billion significantly higher than the 10-year average of 2.5 percent and above the seven-year average of 3.4 percent since recovery began in 2009. Additionally, NRF is forecasting non-store sales to increase between 7 and 10 percent to as much as $117 billion.”

The article also points out that hiring for the season seems to be within the range of last year’s numbers.  “According to NRF, retailers are expected to hire between 640,000 and 690,000 seasonal workers this holiday season, in line with last year’s 675,300 new holiday positions.”

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE