Oregon’s Main Streets Could Still Use the Help

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Shopping Local this Coming Small Business Saturday, November 27, a Nice Shot in the Arm

The state’s leading small-business association is encouraging all Oregonians to reserve some of their holiday shopping time and money for Small Business Saturday, November 27, the day after Black Friday and two days before Cyber Monday.

“Oregon’s small businesses are under a tremendous amount of pressure right now,” said Anthony Smith, Oregon state director for the National Federation of Independent Business, America’s largest small-business association. “A big day of sales is exactly what many of them need heading into the holidays.

“Our local communities always benefit from shopping small, but the ongoing impacts of the pandemic have made this more difficult, for the second year in a row. Last year, many small businesses were forced to close their doors. This year’s challenges include a severe labor shortage and significant disruptions in the supply chain. You can help your small business friends and neighbors by making Small Business Saturday a priority in your holiday shopping plans.

“If you’re looking for a little extra holiday spending cash, be sure to check your local job listings for small businesses still hoping to staff-up before Christmas. The jobs are available, thanks in part to the passage of Oregon House Bill 3389 earlier this year which provides significant payroll tax relief for Oregon businesses most hard-hit by the pandemic. The state just started notifying employers of their new tax rates on November 15 — very welcome news. Now we just need a great day of sales on Small Business Saturday to kick-start a (hopefully) much brighter new year.”

Smith detailed some of the struggles small-business owners are facing that they haven’t in the past:

  • In its latest Jobs Report, released this month, NFIB recorded 49 percent of its membership reporting job openings they could not fill despite the record high in pay they were offering.
  • Also this month, NFIB released the latest findings of its special COVID-19 polls showing 62 percent of small-business owners saying supply-chain disruptions are worse now than three months ago and 90 percent expecting the problem to continue for the next five months or longer.
  • Equally troubling, NFIB’s Small Business Economic Trends report found the percentage of small-business owners expecting better business conditions falling four points to a net negative 37 percent. This indicator has declined 17 points over the past three months to its lowest level since November 2012.
  • As U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said at a recent Fed Listens session. “I’ve never seen these kinds of supply-chain issues, never seen an economy that combines drastic labor shortages with lots of unemployed people.”

Quick Facts

  • Established during the recession by American Express in 2010 and officially co-sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration since 2011, fully 70 percent of consumers are now aware of Small Business Saturday, according to a 2019 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey by AMEX and NFIB.
  • Shoppers at independent retailers and restaurants that day in 2019 spent an estimated $19.6 billion — but that was pre-pandemic.
  • In 2020, when some thought the 2019 numbers couldn’t be matched, spending actually increased to $19.8 billion. “Many small businesses pivoted to selling online or through social media platforms to stay connected with customers throughout the pandemic, and these efforts appear to have paid off, with 56 percent of Small Business Saturday shoppers reporting they shopped online with a small business on the day, an increase from 43 percent in 2019,” reported AMEX. “In addition, small business owners rolled out a variety of giveaways and special offerings to consumers, a smart strategy as 43 percent of consumers reported that they took advantage of special offers or promotions from small businesses on the day.”
  • Last week, the research firm Morning Consult found, “Almost four in ten U.S. consumers say they will do the majority of their holiday shopping online: Another 36 percent plan to evenly split their holiday shopping between stores and online. Only one in four consumers will do the majority of their holiday shopping in stores.
  • “About 50 percent of those who have started shopping have faced supply chain issues. These include items being out of stock online (48 percent), in store (48 percent) or back-ordered or delayed (46 percent).”

nfib.com/oregon

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