As South Dakota families gear up for the frenzied holiday shopping season that begins for some after the last bite of turkey on Thanksgiving Day, it’s important to remember the role our small businesses play. November 24th is “Small Business Saturday,” a day to celebrate small businesses and the impact they have on our communities.

South Dakota is home to over 78,000 small businesses that account for almost 62 percent of the private-sector jobs in the state, according to data from the Small Business Administration. While the national economy has struggled over the past few years, South Dakota's economy has grown, due in large part to the success of small business. In fact, South Dakota continually ranks as the friendliest state for small businesses.

Unfortunately, many small businesses in South Dakota and across the nation are facing unprecedented uncertainty about where our economy is going. Looming at the end of the year is what has become known as the "fiscal cliff," a combination of across-the-board spending cuts and tax increases that economists tell us could send America back into a recession. According to a recent survey by the National Federation of Independent Business, a record high number of small business owners are uncertain about whether business conditions will be better or worse in six months.

That’s why I am continuing to fight for policies in Congress that will provide some confidence and certainty for our job creators. We still have time to avert the fiscal cliff and keep tax rates low for hardworking Americans. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle need to come to the table to find common sense solutions, and I am hopeful that we can come to an agreement.

Showing support for our state’s small businesses through initiatives like "Small Business Saturday" is a great way to give South Dakota employers a confidence boost. I encourage South Dakotans looking to purchase gifts this holiday season to see what their local small businesses have to offer. For my part, I will keep up the fight in Congress to give our small businesses the certainty they need to keep on hiring and growing. To learn more about the businesses celebrating Small Business Saturday, please visit:

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