Small Business Saturday Encourages Consumers To Shop Small And Local

The Small Business Adminstraiton (SBA) estimates that 99.9% of American businesses are small businesses, which are defined by the Census Bureau as companies with less than 500 employees and revenues ranging from $1 million to $40 million, depending on the industry. America’s estimated 33 million small businesses employ 61.7 million Americans, which is just under half (46.4%) of private sector employees. Small businesses also have helped create the lion’s share (over 60%) of new jobs in the U.S. economy since 1995.

Small Business Saturday, annual nationwide shopping event that takes encourages holiday gift-buyers to shop small and local, takes place this year on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023. Established by American Express in 2010, the initiative has since gained popularity as a way to encourage consumers to shop at small, independent businesses during the holiday season. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that up to 65% of small businesses’ annual revenue was generated during the holidays last year. The chamber also reports that for every dollar spent at a small business, an average of $0.67 stays in that business’s local neighborhood.

Promotions are needed to help small businesses now more than ever. With the ease and convenience of online shopping, local business owners need all the help they can get to motivate holiday shoppers to come into their establishments and spend. The idea behind Small Business Saturday is to promote and celebrate the contributions of small businesses and their positive impact on local communities and economies.

It’s a win-win situation. Many small businesses offer special promotions, discounts, or events on this day to attract customers and boost sales. Meanwhile, the establishments can forge stronger relationships. Likewise, Small Business Saturday is an opportunity for consumers to discover unique products and services while helping to sustain local establishments in their community.

During Small Business Saturday 2022, estimated spending reached nearly $18 billion among independently-owned retailers and restaurants, according to American Express. Various organizations, including chambers of commerce, business associations, and government entities, often collaborate to promote Small Business Saturday and encourage community members to participate.

Social media, local advertising, and community events play significant roles in raising awareness about the importance of supporting small businesses. Here are some other tips for small business owners to promote their businesses make the most of Small Business Saturday:

1. Collaborate with Other Local Businesses: Partner with neighboring businesses to cross-promote each other. This can help you tap into each other’s customer bases and create a sense of community support. American Express offers an online search database to locate and support small business in your area.

2. Optimize Your Online Presence: Ensure that your website is user-friendly and up-to-date. Many customers will research online before visiting a store, so make sure your website provides accurate information about your products, services, and Small Business Saturday promotions. Promote your Small Business Saturday offerings on social media, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter (now called X), and even TikTok.

3. Offer a Personalized Experience: Small businesses can excel in providing a personalized touch. Offer exceptional customer service, take the time to get to know your customers, and consider offering personalized recommendations.

4. Loyalty Programs: Encourage repeat business by implementing a loyalty program. Offer discounts, freebies, or exclusive access to special events for customers who frequent your business.

5. Collect Customer Information: Use Small Business Saturday as an opportunity to collect customer information, such as email addresses, to build your marketing list. This allows you to stay in touch with customers and promote future events or deals.

6. Emphasize Local Roots: Highlight the fact that you are a local business and emphasize the positive impact that supporting local businesses has on the community. Share your business story and connect with customers on a personal level.

Small businesses are the backbone of local economies and communities. By patronizing local shops, consumers invest directly in their neighborhoods, fostering job creation and economic stability. Supporting small businesses also promotes unique products, diverse services, and a personalized shopping experience that large corporations may not offer.

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