Governor Kathy Hochul is encouraging New Yorkers to support local and regional small businesses during the holiday season – especially on Saturday for “Small Business Saturday,” which celebrates the dedication and spirit of the state’s small business owners. Small businesses represent 98 percent of all New York State businesses, and support 40 percent of the private sector workforce. By shopping locally, New Yorkers invest revenue and tax dollars back into their communities, support jobs, and further promote regional economic growth.
“As the daughter of a small business owner, I know it takes hard work and perseverance to start and grow a business,” Governor Hochul said. “Since the beginning of my administration, we have made historic investments in New York’s small businesses, which provide jobs, boost local economies, and have a huge impact on communities across the state. This Small Business Saturday and every day, I encourage New Yorkers to shop locally.”
According to the Governor’s Office, New York is a one of the most entrepreneurial states in the nation and supports a network of Entrepreneurship Assistance Centers (EAC) throughout the state. These Centers provide instruction, training, technical assistance, and support services to New Yorkers who are interested in starting or recently started their own business, or entrepreneurs seeking to expand or strengthen their early-stage business.
Empire State Development oversees more than $500 million in federal funding awarded through the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), designed to help small and traditionally disadvantaged businesses succeed. ESD’s Division of Small Business supports businesses with less than 100 employees through a portfolio of programs and initiatives that encourage growth. The Division’s website provides resources that help to walk small business owners through the available programs, including the state’s Business Express website that outlines various business requirements.
The New York State Department of Labor offers a multitude of no-cost services for businesses of all sizes, including thousands of job postings on the NYSDOL website, access to tens of thousands of qualified candidates in its talent pool, career fairs and customized recruitment support, and human resources consultation services. More than 24,000 businesses each year work with NYSDOL to list their jobs, find the right candidates, access hiring and training incentives, obtain business tax credits and incentives, get help with one-on-one labor law and safety and health compliance services, and find layoff aversion resources. For more information, visit: https://www.labor.ny.gov/business.
The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets supports New York’s agricultural industry, which is home to nearly 33,500 farms, 700 farmers’ markets and farm stands, and thousands of small agribusinesses. The Department supports farms and food and beverage businesses by providing several critical services that enhance their business and increase productivity, profitability, and competitiveness. It also provides direct promotional opportunities through the NYS Grown & Certified program, which markets local growers and producers participating in safe food handling and environmental sustainability programs, helping them better compete in the marketplace.
Additionally, the Taste NY program showcases New York farmers and food and beverage businesses at large public events and at more than 70 Taste NY locations across the State, including the State’s Welcome Centers, where New Yorkers can find a gift for everyone on their holiday shopping list. New York’s regional Welcome Centers’ Taste NY Markets and Taste NY stores around the state offer specialty items as well as pre-made and customized gift baskets, local foods, handmade items, and other unique products. Taste NY Markets are also a great place to purchase a wide range of foods and beverages, from charcuterie meats and cheeses to wine and cider, that can be used to create fresh, delicious holiday meals. For a complete list of Taste NY locations, hours of operation and contact information, visit the Taste NY website.
The online marketplace, ShopTasteNY, offers opportunities to shop for New York agricultural products and gifts from the comfort of home. ShopTasteNY.com has holiday gift sets available for purchase, as well as its regular selection of products that highlight the quality and diversity of the state. Orders can be shipped anywhere in the U.S. and Canada. To better ensure gift orders arrive by December 24, it is recommended to have orders placed by Monday, December 18. This year, ShopTasteNY.com, Taste NY’s online marketplace, will be offering several holiday weekend deals, including offering 50 percent off sitewide on Black Friday, Free Shipping and a Free Gift on Small Business Saturday and Sunday, and 30 percent off Gift Boxes and Free Shipping on Cyber Monday.
How to Support Small Businesses Every Day:
- Shop local – Make efforts to shop at small, local stores in your community. By shopping small, you are stimulating your local economy since small business owners tend to purchase supplies and goods nearby.
- Purchase gift cards – Most small businesses, from your favorite restaurant, bar or coffee shop, your neighborhood specialty retailer, or your local hair salon, offer gift cards or gift certificates. By purchasing gift cards, it will inject needed investment into these businesses well past the holiday season.
- Head to your local farmer’s market – Many outdoor farmer’s markets may head indoors this time of year, but there are still many one of a kind, unique offerings. From hand-made crafts to seasonal greenery – your local farmer’s market is a great place to support local small businesses.
- Visit or order take out or delivery from your local bar or restaurant – Don’t forget to tip well. Restaurant workers were hit among the hardest by the pandemic. Many restaurants are still offering curbside delivery.
- Give positive reviews – If you have found a great product, meal, or service or even a great promotion or sale, let your friends and family know. Don’t forget to leave a great review on your social media feed. The best advertising is word-of-mouth.
- If you have to make a return, take a store credit over a refund – If you can. This keeps the money within the small business and every little bit helps.