Howard County is encouraging residents to “Shop Small, Shop Local” throughout the holiday season. County Executive Ball and others highlighted the many options to shop small and local this year, including emphasizing that many shops have set-up online stores and offer pick-up or delivery. In Howard County, 80 percent of businesses have less than 20 employees.

“Small businesses have been among the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, making Small Business Saturday this year more vital than ever,” said Ball. “For every dollar spent at a small business in Howard County, 68 cents goes right back into our community. These local shops are the foundation of our strong business community and have worked hard to create online shopping options, delivery and pick-up, or ensured you can shop safely in their stores.”

“Small businesses are the backbone of local economies. They are creating the lion share of jobs and are often the most community minded of the employment community,” said Leonardo McClarty, president/CEO of the Howard County Chamber of Commerce. “Small Business Saturday has always been important, but in challenging economic times like these, it is extremely important that we stand by and stand up for our small businesses.”

Small Business Saturday has been held the weekend after Thanksgiving since it was created 11 years ago by American Express following the 2009 recession and has since gained large scale popularity.