11 Nov 2015

What is Small Business Saturday?

Small Business Saturday, the holiday created to encourage shoppers to spend their holiday money at the small, local, independent business that make their community unique, will be celebrated on November 28th this year.

The first-ever Small Business Saturday took place Nov. 27, 2010 to encourage people in the US to support small, local businesses. Originally launched by American Express, the day became officially sanctioned by the US Senate in 2011. In 2012 about 73.9 million people celebrated by shopping as small businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and by 2014 an estimated $14.3 billion was spent at small independent businesses on Small Business Saturday. This holiday has enjoyed increased success each year partly due to the activist element supported by American Express OPEN. Each year the credit card company provides free materials and guides to small business owners, Neighborhood Champions, and individual shoppers. Make sure to apply for your free materials by November 15!

A similar campaign launched in 2012 by the American Independent Business Alliance and the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE), Shift Your Shopping, encourages consumers to re-allocate their shopping to local businesses starting at the beginning of November and provides a list of all the different places business owners can go for promotional resources.

Although these campaigns are great for the national attention they bring to independent businesses and the free marketing materials they provide, their impact is important for so many more reasons. As Michelle Long, executive director of BALLE said when launching Shift Your Shopping, “We can create jobs and build our economy, locally and nationally, by investing in our communities through small businesses, healthy farms, and community banks. When you spend money locally during the holidays, you are investing in the economic well-being of your community, your neighbors, and your family.”

Take advantage of the holiday by:

  • Letting your customers know you’ll be celebrating Small Business Saturday on social media. Remind them how impactful their shopping dollars are when they shop with you and other small businesses like yours.
  • Registering with the National Federation of Independent Business for a little extra free promotion.
  • Making it a celebration! Decorate your store, offer in-store specials or cute freebies.
  • Cross-promoting with other stores in your area, street, or neighborhood to drive even more traffic.
  • Going the extra mile by driving sales AND doing good for your community with Causetown and the Shop For Good Campaign.
  • Using it to boost your marketing efforts for the rest of the year. Make sure you collect emails of customers who walk in, remind customers to write reviews on Google, Yelp, or Facebook, and keep the momentum going on social media with weekly posts through the holiday season.
Comment below with how you plan on getting involved this year!

3 Responses

  1. We’ve registed with our Chamber of Commerce as well as American Express. We received our kit yesterday. Our shop is offering 20% off all purchases made and we’ll have munchies and drinks for our shoppers. It’s our 4th year participating in Shop Small.

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