As over half of the United States celebrates Valentine's Day on Wednesday, Americans are expected to spend a near-record high of $19.6 billion for the holiday, according to the National Retail Federation. Of those shopping for their significant others, family friends and coworkers, 14 percent are making their purchases at their local, small businesses.
For New York-based desserts shop Baked by Melissa, Valentine's Day marks the business' biggest retail day of the year. In fact, Baked by Melissa co-founder, president and chief product officer Melissa Ben-Ishay, 34, tells CNBC Make It she expects the business to sell over 500,000 cupcakes from the Valentine's Day collection this year.
"Valentine's Day marks one of my favorite weeks of the year," she says. "It makes me super excited for the future and gives me the confidence — which I already have — that, of course, we're going to be able to grow the company and meet our goals. If we can do this, we can do anything."