ORLANDO, Fla. — You may not realize it, but over 99% of businesses in this country are considered a small business. 

What You Need To Know

  • Small Business Saturday shoppers spent about $17.9 billion in 2022, according to a survey by Consumer Insights

  • In 2021, nearly 180 million shoppers spent money Thanksgiving weekend

  • Nineteen percent of annual retail sales occur between Black Friday and Christmas

According to a 2022 Consumer Insights survey commissioned by American Express, Small Business Saturday shoppers spent about $17.9 billion.

Roughly $68 of every $100 you spend at a local business stays in your local economy. If you shop at a big business, only $43 dollars stay.

Charyli on Park Avenue in Winter Park is one of the 28.8 million small businesses in the country.

For 12 years, store owner Lisa West has greeted and helped customers. The store name’s creation is a combination of letters from her four children’s names: Chad, Hannah, Ryan and Lindsey.

Before being a small business owner, West was a buyer for Burdines.

Now, she’s selling and thinking outside the box to generate a buzz on Park Avenue. Every couple of hours, there’s a new item or items on sale.

“We tried to create a sense of urgency,” West said outside her boutique. “So, if you wanted a new dress, dresses from 4 to 5 (p.m.), you can get them 40% off.”

It’s not easy being a small business, either. Between competing with big box stores and Mother Nature, West and her team bank on word-of-mouth, social media and when Mother Nature is cooperating.

“Two weeks ago, we had rain from Saturday to Saturday,” West said. “So, you know, things like that do affect my business.”

Mother and daughter Stephanie and Janice Meyer said aside from supporting local businesses, each store offers something unique — something you can’t get with a keyboard and mouse.

“You are also getting a greater variety of product,” Stephanie Meyer said as she stood next to her mother. “You have a lot more diversity. Everything is really coming from individuals that are very self invested.”

The National Retail Federation reports 46% of consumers began shopping before November, up from 39% in 2019. West said she is hoping she isn’t missing out.

“First half of the year I was up,” West said. “Last year was the best year I ever had in 12 years. I’m hoping that being down a little the second half of the year, average it in with the first half, we’ll be fine. We shall see.”

In 2021, nearly 180 million shoppers spent money on Thanksgiving weekend. In 2022, that number climbed to nearly 197 million. More shoppers potentially mean more business for small businesses like Charyli on Park Avenue and others across the U.S.

The National Retail Federation estimates that 19% of annual retail sales occur between Black Friday and Christmas, and that 74% of Americans are expected to be out shopping this week.