How do you usually shop when you need something like a gift for a friend, a new pair of shoes, or a bike for your son or daughter? Today more than ever before, Americans make a beeline for the computer or a big box store when it comes to getting through their shopping list.
And it’s not just clothes, toys, and gifts we buy at these places. Paper towel, cell phones, greeting cards, and all your groceries can be purchased at the same time — with just one trip to a large chain store or one click of a button.
So where does this leave the little guy — small businesses?
Small businesses are closing up shop, and fewer new businesses are opening than ever before. Unfortunately for everyone, this means less support to locally-run firms, more unemployment, cheaper goods, terrible customer services, and small towns that suffer.
But you can help!
Small Business Saturday is a way to pump life into the small businesses here in the U.S. — and around the world. Here’s a bit more about this special annual event and how you can participate this year!
What Is Small Business Saturday?
Small Business Saturday is a day that celebrates small businesses of all kinds around the country. This includes all types of independent retailers from locally-owned gyms, grocery stores, cafes, and restaurants to artists and craftsmen who sell their goods online, local farmers, and more.
When Is Small Business Saturday?
Every year in the United States, Small Business Saturday is celebrated on the first Saturday after Thanksgiving. This year, 2018, Small Business Saturday will take place on Saturday, November 24th.
How Did Small Business Saturday Start?
Especially since the 1960s, when the modern American shopping mall came into existence, big box stores and chains have taken over what was once a country dominated by small local businesses. Small and even medium-sized towns have seen their small businesses obliterated when bigger chain stores come into town. Usually, the smaller retailers can hold out for at least a year, but inevitably, it’s the big guys who win out.
Small Business Saturday started as a way to pump some life back into the small businesses around our nation — to honor and recognize them. The first celebration of this holiday was only celebrated in Massachusetts in 2010. It was created as a way to work against Black Friday, which inevitably favors large chain stores and retailers.
But since that time, the holiday has spread throughout the nation. From the start, Small Business Saturday was sponsored by both the non-profit National Trust for Historic Preservation and by American Express. There are now Small Business Saturday celebrations in the UK and elsewhere around the world as well.
Why Participate in Small Business Saturday?
If you’re a small business owner, it, of course, makes sense to raise awareness of your business and other small businesses around the nation and the world on this day!
If you’re not a business owner, it also makes sense. That’s because consumers like you profoundly impact whether or not small businesses are able to get off the ground or maintain their business. By patronizing small businesses on this day — and raising awareness for others — you’re putting your money where your mouth is and let the world know that you appreciate small businesses and want them to stick around.
How Can Small Businesses Participate in Small Business Saturday?
Small businesses should prepare for Small Business Saturday by promoting the day online and in-store. You might consider holding a special event, an open house, or the release of a new product or service on this day. For more inspiration, head here to Shop Small®’s Get Inspired page.
How Can Others Participate?
If you’re a consumer, the best way to participate in Small Business Saturday is to buy from and patronize small businesses!
This might mean shopping at your local grocery store instead of the big chain supermarket in your town. It might mean grabbing a coffee at a local café instead of a chain coffee shop. Or it could mean ordering a piece of art, a tool you need, or something else from an independent retailer online.
Don’t Forget to Spread the Word!
Lastly, whether you’re a shopper or you own or work at a small business yourself, one of the biggest things you can do to support Small Business Saturday is spread the word.
Tell your friends and family about Small Business Saturday, use the hashtag #ShopSmall on social media, and of course, don’t forget to get out there and spend your money at small businesses in your area this Saturday, November 24th, 2018!
Mike Bowe | Published on November 23, 2018