Small business has taken a big hit this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, it is more important than ever to support small businesses during the holidays.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, small businesses account for 47.5 percent of jobs of the state’s private-sector workforce. The second and third largest industry for small business employment in the United States are accommodation and food service, and retail. Supporting local shops and restaurants helps support not only the business owners, but other members in the community job’s as well.

In Flint & Genesee, there are thousands of small businesses that provide products and services to the community and keep citizens employed. Here are some of the things you can do to support small businesses in the area.

Local shops in downtown Flint have banded together to help promote shopping local for Small Business Saturday with an interactive list including local stores that are offering e-gift cards and local restaurants that are serving food to-go. The list also includes hours of operation on Saturday for those who would rather shop in person.

For people who would rather shop from home, I’m Building Something Consulting is hosting a Small Business Saturday Virtual Shop on Saturday, Nov. 28 live on Facebook starting at 12 p.m. During the virtual event, local businesses will share their products for viewers to purchase.

In Flushing, local small businesses are working together for a Small Business Saturday event featuring deals at 24 small businesses. Patrons are encouraged to participate in the fun from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 28 to visit the local businesses and collect 15 signatures for a chance to win a Flushing Gift Basket.

Another way to support small business in Flint & Genesee is through the Spread the Cheer Sweepstakes, a contest put on by the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce.

To participate in the contest, residents can fill out the contest form online to answer the question, “If you could give some extra love to any independently owned business in Flint and Genesee County this holiday season, which would it be?”

Once answered, participants will be put into a drawing. Five randomly selected businesses selected will receive $1,000 to put towards their business and the participant that named that business will receive $500 to put towards their holiday shopping this year.

These are just a few ways local can support small businesses this holiday season. However, supporting small business can be a year-round event from dining at local restaurants (or getting to-go) to shopping at local retailers.

Looking for a local store? Check out Flint & Genesee shopping listings here.

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