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updated 11/26/2012 12:20:48 PM ET 2012-11-26T17:20:48

Tomorrow will mark the third official small business Saturday. And in the wake of Hurricane Sandy’s impact on small businesses on the east coast, this maybe the most important small business Saturday to date.

According to The New York Enterprise Report, the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut tri-state area is home to over 500,000 small businesses. Disasters like Hurricane Sandy have a way of impacting small businesses exponentially more than mid-sized or larger enterprises.

The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy will affect small businesses for months, if not years. A blow from a disaster like Sandy can have a huge impact on small businesses that were not well prepared. According to a recent survey by Sage, the Lawrenceville, Ga.-based small-business accounting firm where I work, 62% of small businesses do not have a formal emergency disaster plan in place.

Related: Picking up the Pieces: Sandy's Impact on Small Businesses

Given the devastation from Sandy, small businesses in the tri-state area need the support of small business Saturday now more than ever. Buying locally supports the local economy and local jobs. Small business Saturday will provide an opportunity for Americans to show their patriotism and support small businesses in the tri-state area as well as those across the nation.

Here are a few points about why we should support our local small businesses:

  • According to the Seattle Good Business Network, small businesses donate on average 250% more to non-profits in our communities. Small local businesses are the largest employer nationally and in our communities, provide the most jobs to residents. 
     
  • Local businesses are owned by people who live in the community, are less likely to leave, and are more invested in the community’s future.
     
  • Small businesses add to the fabric of and make our communities unique.
     
  • For every $100 spent at locally owned businesses, $68 stays in the local economy compared to only $43 if spent at a national chain, according to a Civic Economics study on Grand Rapids, Mich. in 2008.
     

Related: Can 'Small Business Saturday' Save Christmas?

Small businesses add so much to the fabric of our local communities. Small businesses supply our communities with jobs. In fact, small businesses create seven of every ten new jobs that are created according to the House Committee on Small Businesses. Small businesses account for 39 percent of the nation’s GDP.

With the economy just starting to show signs of life, it is more important than ever that we as a country stand behind our small businesses, beginning with shopping small on small business Saturday on November 24th. 

Copyright © 2013 Entrepreneur.com, Inc.

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