The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), along with two members of Rhode Island’s Congressional delegation and Major Brett P. Smiley, held its annual walking tour this morning to promote this year’s upcoming “Small Business Saturday” on Wayland Square in Providence. Joined by U.S. Senator Jack Reed and Congressman Gabe Amo, the group held a press conference at L’ Artisan Café & Bakery highlighting the importance of shopping and dining small, before going on a walking tour of several Wayland Square businesses.
The group’s first stop after the press conference was at Citron Spa, followed by visits to East Side Cheese & Provisions, Books on the Square, Milan Providence Clothiers, before ending at CORE Cycle.Fitness.Lagree. At each stop, store owners got the opportunity to meet and chat with the elected officials while showcasing their business to the group. Senator Reed, Congressman Amo, and Mayor Smiley all lauded the businesses’ success and emphasized the importance of supporting small the small business community not just during the holiday shopping season, but year round.
Created by American Express during the 2010 economic recession and officially cosponsored by SBA since 2011, Small Business Saturday is designed to spotlight the tremendous impact small businesses have on local communities, and their contributions to local, state, and national economies.
“Small Business Saturday is a celebration of our local merchants who help fuel Rhode Island’s economy. Supporting small businesses and local restaurants is the perfect way to kick off the holiday season,” said Senator Reed. “I appreciated this opportunity to explore the offerings of local shops in Wayland Square and to hear about their successes and challenges as small business owners across the state prepare for Saturday and the busy shopping weekends coming up. All Rhode Islanders should take some time to get to your local, family-owned stores this Saturday to pick up one-of-a-kind gifts for loved ones.”
“As the son of a small business owner, I know how important small businesses are to creating economic opportunity for Rhode Island families and communities,” said Congressman Gabe Amo. “In Congress, I am laser-focused on making government work for the people of the First District, and that includes encouraging everyone in Rhode Island to shop small at one of our many bustling small businesses.”
“Providence’s small businesses are the backbone of our local economy,” said Mayor Brett P. Smiley. “We are incredibly lucky to live in a city with so many talented artisans, producing unique crafts that will surely make for the perfect gift this holiday season. I am excited to be partnering with the SBA and our federal delegation to encourage our residents and visitors to shop local.”
“Shopping small is extremely important to us here in Rhode Island, where almost 99% of businesses are small”, said District Director Mark S. Hayward. “By supporting small businesses, you make a direct impact on your local communities. It’s important that we show our appreciation for the businesses and people that are the cornerstone of our economy. We’re proud to be here supporting all of our local small businesses this holiday season.”
According to American Express®, shoppers came together last year to support their local communities with an estimated $17.9 billion in reported spending at small retailers and restaurants, and 72 percent of shoppers strongly agree they will continue to shop small throughout the holiday season because of the impact it has on their local community.
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