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N.C. Community Colleges Small Business Center Network encourages consumers to "Shop Small"

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11.25.2014College & CommunityCollege General

With the holiday shopping season around the corner, the North Carolina Community College Small Business Center Network (SBCN) encourages you to #ShopSmall by supporting local small businesses.

Nestled between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday(R) has quickly become a nationally recognized day to support your local independent merchants with the power of your dollar.

"Small business is the driving force behind economic growth," said Mike Jones, Director of Central Carolina Community College's Small Business Center in Lee County. "We encourage you to support our local entrepreneurs and small businesses on Small Business Saturday(R)."

Small Business Saturday(R) was founded by American Express in 2010 as a day to celebrate local businesses through the launch of the holiday shopping season. The day has since grown into a powerful movement in support of local small businesses that make our community unique.

Consumer spending with independent merchants during the 2013 Small Business Saturday(R) neared $5.7 billion, according to the results of a survey conducted by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). A recent forecast by consulting and financial advising firm Deloitte, US indicates that holiday shopping sales are expected to increase by as much as 4.5 percent in the 2014 season, with sales expecting to total between $981 and $986 billion.

"During the holiday season, there are ample opportunities to find unique gifts through visiting local small businesses," said Jon Spoon, Small Business Center Coordinator for Chatham County. "Please consider participating in Small Business Saturday(R) on November 29th and purchase meaningful presents while supporting your friends and neighbors."

Sixty million workers in the United States are employed by small business, accounting for approximately, half of the private sector workforce. The Small Business Administration (SBA) reports that small businesses were also the driving force for 63 percent of new net private sector jobs created between 1993 and mid-2013. Furthermore, in the state of North Carolina 47 percent of the workforce is employed in a small business setting.

Small Business Saturday(R) is our opportunity to support the local small businesses that provide economic vitality and quality of life to our community. The SBCN encourages you to use the power of your dollar to #ShopSmall on Nov. 29 and help make a lasting impact in the place you call home.

"Small Business Saturday(R) will be held this year on Saturday, Nov. 29th. I encourage you to shop locally so these businesses can stay in business and support our local economy," said Nancy Blackman, Director of Central Carolina Community College's Small Business Center in Harnett County.

The mission of the N.C. Community Colleges Small Business Center Network (SBCN) is to increase the success rate and number of viable small businesses in North Carolina by providing high quality, readily accessible assistance to prospective and existing small business owners, which will lead to job creation and retention. The SBCN assists in the establishment of more than 650 businesses each year. Small Business Centers have an economic impact in 90 percent of all N.C. counties, including helping to create and retain over 3,000 jobs annually.

For more information on Central Carolina Community College's Small Business Centers, contact Mike Jones, Director of the SBC in Lee County, at 919-718-7424 or email; Nancy Blackman, Director of the SBC in Harnett County, at 910-892-2884 or email; or Jon Spoon, SBC Coordinator in Chatham County, at 919-545-8013 or email