CHICAGO – November 22, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today proclaimed Saturday, Nov. 26 as "Small Business Saturday" in Illinois to encourage shoppers to support the more than 500,000 small businesses in our state. Consumers are encouraged to use the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Nov. 26, between "Black Friday" and “Cyber Monday” – traditionally two of the busiest shopping days of the year – to shop at small businesses around the state.
“Thanksgiving weekend traditionally serves as the kick-off for the holiday shopping season, and we want all Illinois businesses to have a strong showing,” Governor Quinn said. “I encourage people throughout Illinois to use this time to show their support for local merchants that contribute to our local economies, putting people to work and keeping our economy moving forward.”
Small business success is critical to Illinois’ and the nation's overall economy. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are approximately 28 million small businesses in the United States, which have created 65 percent of new jobs over the past two decades. For every $100 spent in locally-owned, independent stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll and other expenditures, according to the 3/50 Project, a small business advocacy group.
“If every Illinois small business was able to create one new job, we'd lower the unemployment rate five points," DCEO Director Warren Ribley said. "'Small Business Saturday' continues our efforts to boost locally-owned businesses throughout Illinois by giving them the tools and support they need to succeed and grow.”
In October, Governor Quinn launched Advantage Illinois, a new program for small businesses to access capital, thanks to more than $78 million from the federal State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). Advantage Illinois consists of three programs to spur institutional lending to small businesses and one program to leverage private venture capital in start-ups and high-growth businesses. Illinois expects to leverage at least $10 in new private lending for every $1 of federal funding, generating more than $800 million in private investments in Illinois' small businesses.
For more information on the state’s small business resources, visit www.ildceo.net.