Extending Small Business Saturday
Small Business Saturday took place shortly after both Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Small Business Saturday is an additional shopping event for locals to support the small businesses in their community with perks that benefit both sides. The Los Angeles County Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) is conducting such events through Dec. 21.
The emphasis put on supporting small businesses was refocused back in 2020 when the Biden-Harris administration took over and made several changes to aid the growth of small businesses. Those changes have resulted in a 9% increase in Black business from 2019 to 2022 and funding of over $8 billion for all small businesses. In 2022, Los Angeles County decided to create its support system for small businesses, calling it the DEO, formerly the economic and workforce development branch of the now-dissolved LA County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services (WDACS).
Kelly LoBianco was appointed Director of the DEO and was extremely grateful and ready to get to work immediately. “I am honored to serve as the first Director of the LA County Department of Economic Opportunity,” said Kelly LoBianco, director of the DEO. “Thanks to the vision of our Board of Supervisors and the commitment of our County team and partners, we are proud to have created a new, centralized department that will empower all of our workers, small businesses and high-road employers, and communities. As we continue to recover and look to the future to advance workforce equity and mobility and drive inclusive and sustainable growth here in LA County.”
A year later, LoBianco has maintained her business by emphasizing the importance of supporting small businesses. The DEO launched the Shop Local LA County Holiday Campaign in recognition of Small Business Saturday, encouraging County residents to sign the ShopLocalLA Pledge and participate in the newly announced holiday sweepstakes, “Shop Local Sweeps”, for an opportunity to win gift cards to their favorite small businesses in their neighborhoods.
As part of DEO’s Shop Local campaign, “Shop Local Sweeps” will empower and incentivize residents to shop locally this holiday season. Any resident who takes the ShopLocalLA Pledge was automatically entered to win a $500 gift card to spend at a local business of their choice. Drawings are every week starting Dec. 8 through the new year to continuously remind everyone of the impact that spending locally has on their community’s vitality.
“At DEO, we know small businesses are not only important in building vibrant culture and community but to the survival of our local economy,” said LoBianco. “We understand that countless small businesses, who employed essential workers and served us daily while many sheltered in place during the pandemic, lost the ability to earn sufficient revenue, keep their doors open and staff on payroll, and continue to struggle today. For this reason, DEO is launching the Shop Local LA County Holiday Campaign to highlight and promote small, diverse, immigrant-owned businesses in the county's high to highest-need small business corridors for one-stop shopping while we celebrate our friends and families with gifts through the new year.”
In addition to promoting local holiday shopping, the DEO’s Office of Small Business is also expanding its no-cost 1:1 and group services and support to help individuals start their businesses, get certified for local, state, and federal contracts, and access capital and connect to a community of fellow entrepreneurs.
To learn more and sign the #ShopLocalLA Pledge and participate in the Shop Local LA County Holiday Campaign, visit www.shoplocal.la.