Small Business Saturday November 16, 2017 WHEREAS, Small Business Saturday, the Saturday following Thanksgiving, provides an opportunity to support Alaska’s local economy during the holiday shopping season by supporting local businesses; and WHEREAS, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, Alaska’s small businesses employ more than half of the state’s private workforce, and companies having fewer than 100 employees have the largest share of small business employment. Alaska has an estimated 72,042 small businesses that employ over 142,000 private-sector workers in the state, and make up 99.2 percent of Alaska businesses; and WHEREAS, when we purchase a product or service from a local store or restaurant, we help pay the salary of neighbors and loved ones and strengthen the local economy. Small business owners also contribute to our communities in other ways – by supporting local nonprofit organizations, sports teams, and providing a first job experience and mentorship for many Alaskans; and WHEREAS, in 2016 more than 112 million American consumers spent $15.4 billion at small businesses online and in-person on Small Business Saturday; and WHEREAS, the State of Alaska promotes Alaska made, grown, and manufactured products and businesses through the “AK Loyal” family of brands. Alaskans are encouraged to learn more online at www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/ded/DEV/AlaskaLoyal.aspx and to search for Alaska business and products using the Small Business Development Center’s “Buy Alaska” website at buyalaska.com. NOW THEREFORE, I, Bill Walker, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF ALASKA, do hereby proclaim November 25, 2017 as: Small Business Saturday in Alaska, and encourage all Alaskans to remember the impact Alaska’s small businesses make in our communities and support them with their business on this day and throughout the year.