Small Business Saturday aims to support small businesses locally and online leading up to the holiday sales season. The occasion continues to grow as more and more small businesses engage with the day to compete with larger retailers.
By supporting Small Biz Saturday, you are helping small teams and contributing to the small business economy. Continue reading to learn more about Small Business Saturday, including how you can support it and how small businesses can participate.
What is Small Business Saturday?
Small Business Saturday is an American shopping holiday intended to combat Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The difference is instead of focusing on big-box retail stores like Walmart or e-commerce stores like Amazon, Small Business Saturday is designed to encourage shoppers to support small and local businesses online and within their own community.
Small Business Saturday is held on the last Saturday of November, after Thanksgiving, so it can fall anywhere between November 24th and 30th. For 2020, Small Business Saturday will take place in the United States on Saturday, November 28th.
How Did Small Business Saturday Start?
The first Small Business Saturday took place on November 27, 2010. It was created by American Express to support the small business economy as part of their Shop Small campaign. To create the original campaign, American Express partnered with the non-profit organization National Trust for Historic Preservation, Roslindale Village Main Street, and the Mayor of Boston at the time, Thomas M. Menino.
After the success of the first Small Business Saturday, the U.S. senate in 2011 unanimously passed a resolution in support of Small Business Saturday, and officials in all 50 states began to promote the day (even President Barack Obama.)
Small Business Saturday has only continued to grow with more money being spent at local and small businesses every year across the entire United States. It’s estimated that all 9 Small Business Saturdays combined have earned small businesses $103 billion in sales. That’s the profit from only 9 days!
How to Support Small Business Saturday
Anyone can support Small Business Saturday. Give small businesses every advantage against larger conglomerates by doing everything you can to support them on Small Business Saturday and throughout the year.
Buy From Small Businesses
The most straightforward form of support is to buy from small businesses. Next time you make a purchase, consider if you could make the same or similar purchase from a small business. Is there a local store in your community you could go to instead? Or could you buy the product you’re looking for directly from the small business instead of on Amazon?
When you begin your holiday shopping, consider each of your purchases and where your money will end up. Small businesses support communities, expand industries, and build amazing places to work, but they can only thrive if they have our support.
Spread the Word
Support Small Business Saturday without a financial commitment by spreading the word within your personal and online networks. Share social media posts from small businesses so that more people in your network can learn about the occasion. Tell your friends, family, and colleagues about Small Business Saturday to get the event as much traction as possible. A simple share online can really help a small business get their message out into the world, and it won’t cost you anything.
Look for more information about Small Business Saturday and general small business promotion with the hashtags:
Become a Neighborhood Champion
A Neighborhood Champion is an ambassador and promoter for Small Business Saturday in their community. They are typically small business owners themselves or community organizers. Neighborhood Champions help out by spreading the word to local shoppers about the small businesses in their area, either through social media efforts or word of mouth.
You can spread the word by conducting interviews with local business owners, hosting podcasts, writing blogs, or organizing community events. You can also reach out to specific small businesses in your area and encourage them to participate.
You can become an official Neighborhood Champion by signing up with American Express.
Take Advantage of Small Business Saturday Deals and Offers
On Small Business Saturday, many businesses have promotional opportunities, which makes supporting them all the more rewarding. Look for deals from your favorite small businesses and search for promotions using the hashtags #smallbusinesssaturday, #shopsmall, and #smallbizsaturday.
Participation Ideas for Small Businesses
Promote a Sale or Offer
Add extra incentive for shoppers to consider your store by holding a promotion or sale. You’ll have the attention of shoppers, so think about how you can make your product or service stand out. Not able to lower your prices? Consider adding a free gift with a purchase, or a free piece of content such as a downloadable tool or ebook.
Unveil a New Product
Do you have a new product you’re about to launch? Use Small Business Saturday as an opportunity to announce or unveil a new product or service. The perfect opportunity to make an announcement is when you have the world’s attention. You will be more likely to get social media shares leading up to and during the event, so be sure to take full advantage of this. It’s not often enough that there’s a spotlight on small businesses.
Boost Your Online Presence
In the days leading up to Small Business Saturday, you can increase your social media presence by sharing your promotions and those of other businesses. Take the time to engage with small businesses online to increase your own exposure.
Follow other businesses and people that are using the Small Business Saturday hashtags on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Like, share, or retweet content and posts from participating small businesses. Leave comments on posts that are meaningful and supportive. Go beyond a one-word comment by relating to the business, asking a question, sending encouragement, or using humor. This extra online engagement will get your business noticed by people and businesses outside of your current circle of contacts.
Connect With Other Small Businesses
Small businesses need to stick together. Support other small businesses at every opportunity so that they will want to do the same in turn. As a small business, you know how difficult it can be to get your business off the ground and to keep it running. Extend an olive branch to small business owners in your community and in complementing industries.
How can your business work with other small businesses? Consider everything your business needs to buy each year including all products and services. Do your purchases support small businesses? Are there changes you can make that would support your local community, your industry, and the small business economy?
This Small Business Saturday, reach out to other small businesses that you may be able to work with. It’s possible they could use your product or service as well, and if not, they may recommend you to someone who can. Small businesses thrive when they support each other.
Blue Summit Supplies is a Small Business
Blue Summit Supplies is proud to be a small business, and we love supporting other small businesses across the country. Being in the office supplies industry, we are able to focus our efforts towards helping other small businesses grow, thrive, and stay organized. 😉
We prioritize working with small businesses and truly enjoy sharing advice, resources, and tools that help offices maintain organization, productivity, and office etiquette. Thank you to all of the small businesses out there who work hard each and every day to support small teams.
We are pretty tiny ourselves—we only have a dozen employees, including Larry—and we wouldn’t have it any other way. As a small team, we can prioritize team engagement, wellbeing, and personal growth to build a happy and productive office culture. To learn more about how our small team works, check out our Behind the Blueblog stream, which highlights everything from How to Have a Good Day at Workto Creating Your Company Core Valuesto why you should Bring Your Dog to Work.
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