WASHINGTON, DC – If you’re staying away from the big box stores on Black Friday, you may want to wait until tomorrow which is Small Business Saturday – a day to celebrate the nation’s nearly 32 million independent small businesses. Small-business owners continue to navigate the choppy waters of pandemic recovery while also often dealing with staffing issues. American Express founded the event in 2010 with the U.S. Small Business Administration becoming a co-sponsor a year later. According to a 2020 Small Business Saturday survey, spending at independent retailers and restaurants last year reached an estimated $19.8 billion, up from $19.6 billion in 2019. Online shopping at small businesses rose significantly, with 56% of consumers buying something online, up from 43% in 2019. The survey also found that 97% of shoppers recognized the positive impact they can make by shopping small and 85% of them reported they also encouraged friends and family to shop small businesses as well.