Next week, the US retail industry’s high selling season kicks off in earnest. The infamous Black Friday is on the 23rd, immediately followed by Small Business Saturday, a day dedicated to supporting small businesses all across the country by encouraging people to shop at small businesses in their communities.
Small businesses in the economy
Amidst the chaos of shopping that won’t let up until Christmas Day, it’s worth thinking about the critical role small businesses play in the US economy.
As you can see in this infographic, small businesses:
- Pay 44% of total U.S. private payroll
- Created 65% of the net new jobs created in the 17 year period ending in 2009
Retailers are a huge part of the small business economy, and they’ve been flourishing — particularly boutique and artisan retailers. They’re flourishing because of their passion and hard work, the support of patrons who shop local and shop small, and their ability to run their businesses anytime, from anywhere on cloud software. What’s more, they can also cut the costs of having custom retail software created for them by combining integrated cloud apps.
In the days before integrated cloud apps, artisan retailers couldn’t afford the expensive hardware and software required to graduate from pop-up stores and farmer’s markets to larger-scale businesses. Now, however, they can use apps like Xero to get retail operations up and running with a much smaller investment.
Chocolate and fruit
Two examples are The Sixth Course and Blue Chair Fruit. Both use Xero, and both were able to spontaneously get their retail operations going. They didn’t have to install anything, and they didn’t have to pay for any software that they didn’t need. They can just login and access all their data from any device – their computers, tablets and even their phones are always wired in to the pulse of their business.
Create your own retail solution
At Xero, we celebrate and support small businesses, so we’re offering a great deal on a retail solution – get Xero, Vend point of sale software and Shopify ecommerce software all free through the end of 2012. Go to xero.com/small-business-saturday for more details. And no matter who you are, do the industry and the economy a favor by going out on Saturday, November 24th and shopping small!