Next Saturday, as a way to promote small businesses during the holidays, a one-day event is scheduled to take place Nov. 28, representing a significant opportunity for small businesses to increase sales and for shoppers to support local businesses.
Small Business Saturday was created in 2010 by American Express as a means of encouraging support for small businesses during the Great Recession. In 2011, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution supporting Small Business Saturday, and the event has since taken on a nationwide appeal, with participation in all 50 states.
Small Business Saturday falls between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, when consumers may already be shopping online or at well-known retail brands to prepare for the holidays. This snnual event, by focusing on small businesses, was created to highlight small businesses’ importance in local communities, so they aren’t overshadowed by larger companies.
The main goal of this event is to give small businesses a revenue boost during the holiday shopping season. Based on the numbers reported by American Express, it would seem that the event is successful when it comes to reaching that goal.
It is estimated that in 2019, consumers spent $19.6 billion on Small Business Saturday in support of local businesses. That figure outstrips the $5.4 billion spent on Black Friday and the $9.2 billion spent on Cyber Monday over that same weekend. Since the event was first organized, Americans have spent more than $120 billion on Small Business Saturday collectively.
That is significant, as American Express estimates that for every dollar spent at a small business in the U.S., 67¢ stays in the local community. By shopping small, consumers can help boost businesses in their own backyard and promote a healthier local economy.
This event may be especially important this year, considering how severely the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted many small business owners across the country.
According to a survey conducted by the National Federation of Independent Business, one in five small business owners say they’ll have to close their doors if economic conditions don’t improve through the early months of 2021. Another 19% say that an economic downturn lasting another seven to 12 months could result in them having to close up shop for good.
If you are a shopper and you are interested in supporting Small Business Saturday, the best way to do it is to shop locally and encourage friends and family to do the same. That includes shopping at local brick-and-mortar businesses as well as at small businesses that operate online. For example, you may choose to support an online boutique or a digital service-based business. You can also use the #ShopSmall hashtag to promote the event on social media.
If you’re interested in participating in the event as a small business owner, American Express offers a number of tools that can help. They include promotional materials, such as posters and signage that can be used in your store if you operate a business with a physical location as well as digital marketing materials. Special signage is available for 2020’s event to support Black-owned businesses that have experienced undue financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. These are provided free of charge for businesses that are American Express merchants.
Small Business Saturday presents shoppers with a unique opportunity to show support for local businesses. It’s important to remember that this event is designed to encourage people to shop small not only during the holidays but at any time of the year. By shopping locally, you can help small business owners keep their doors open. As a small business owner, taking part in this event could help provide a cash flow boost during the holidays.
So, circle those calendars, mark in your dayplanners, give yourself a reminder on your cell phone — Small Business Saturday is more than an annual event for local businesses...