Moonlight Magic in Shelburne Falls. Photo courtesy of MassVacation.com.
The Baker-Polito Administration is celebrating Small Business Weekend in Massachusetts with an official proclamation that highlights the important role our small businesses play in the Commonwealth while urging residents and visitors to support their local economy this holiday season.
Governor Charlie Baker said, “Our local retailers and small businesses are critical to Massachusetts small towns and major cities. Shopping local helps build our local economies and support the businesses who employ 1.4 million Massachusetts residents.”
Lt. Governor Karyn Polito said, “We encourage families across Massachusetts to support their local retailers as the holiday season begins. Our small businesses drive regional growth and bring unique, local offerings to our Commonwealth. We’re proud to highlight this integral part of our economy.”
For every dollar spent locally $0.68 stays local, compared to just $0.43 spent at national retailers. The Retail Association of Massachusetts (RAM) has initiated a #BuyInMA social media campaign to remind residents to shop local. Massachusetts Small Business Weekend also runs alongside Small Business Saturday, an annual campaign by American Express and the U.S. Small Business Association.
Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash said, “Main Streets and small shopping districts in our cities and towns are of the heart of the Massachusetts economy. When our small businesses prosper, they create more jobs, build economic success and offer new opportunities to burgeoning and long-standing industries here in Massachusetts.”
According to RAM, consumer spending represents 70% of the economy. The holiday sales season historically represents on average 20% of annual retail sales, with some stores seeing 25-30% of their sales during the period.
Assistant Secretary of Business Development and International Trade Nam Pham said, “By shopping in Massachusetts this holiday season, we support local businesses and their employees, while also generating tax revenue in communities across the Commonwealth.”
Small businesses in Massachusetts employ more than 1.4 million residents, representing 46.4% of all Massachusetts employees. The more than 620,000 small firms in Massachusetts include 136,000 firms that employ at least one person, and an additional 484,000 non-employer firms. The majority of our small employers employ less than 20 individuals.
In May of 2017, the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development undertook ten listening sessions across the Commonwealth to better understand the needs of small businesses and obstacles to success. More than 600 residents, representing 250 small businesses, which included brewers, manufacturers, health care providers, developers, and retailers attended these listening sessions.