Nov. 29th is Small Business Saturday – a day circled on the calendar of savvy entrepreneurs across America.

Small businesses are the engine of our economy and create two out of three new jobs. Seven in 10 Americans are now aware that the day after Black Friday is a time to shop small and support local economic growth.

Dine Small on Small Business Saturday

Now in its fifth year, Small Business Saturday has become a time for small businesses to harness the power of social media to attract new customers into their shops and restaurants. Last year, two out of every three holiday shoppers purchased a gift they found on social media. Half of all holiday sales now are influenced by digital interactions. Purchases may still be happening predominately in person, but the influencing is happening online. Social marketing is virtualizing what has always happened on the soccer field and over the backyard fence.

We all have a stake in seeing foot traffic increase on Main Street; local spending means local jobs and local growth. Holiday shoppers shouldn’t let Nov. 29 pass without investing in your local economy, and entrepreneurs should have a multi-pronged strategy to use this day to drive food and beverage sales and showcase your local business.

This year, America’s bars and restaurants are encouraged to extend the hours on the daylong festivities by promoting Small Business Saturday Night. The Small Business Administration (SBA) is partnering with the National Restaurant Association to encourage families who shop small to #DineSmall at local restaurants and watering holes in the evening. Small business merchants are also encouraged to extend their hours so they can take advantage of increased nighttime foot traffic.

Nine out of 10 restaurants have less than 50 employees, and 80 percent of restaurant owners start their careers in entry-level positions. So the #DineSmall movement is this year’s important new way to support the proprietors who give Main Street its unique flavor.

Join the conversation today on Twitter (#SmallBizSat, #DineSmall and #ShowUsYourMenu) and spread the word about Nov. 29 and what a big difference shopping and dining small can make.

Please join the SBA and organizations across the country in supporting your local small business by shopping at a small business.

For McKinney residents, shop right here in town, because for every $100 spent with a McKinney merchant, $68 stays in our community.