Local businesses are in the shopping spotlight tomorrow, Small Business Saturday, a national day recognizing small businesses.
Consumers are encouraged to “Shop Small” on the Saturday after Thanksgiving – this year it’s Nov. 26 – to support small and independent businesses online and offline alike. By all accounts at the local, state, and national levels Shop Small Saturday is a fun and successful event which highlights local businesses and communities.
It’s not a coincidence that Small Business Saturday comes went it does – between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, two of the busiest days of the holiday shopping season. Small Business Saturday has a role, too, allowing small-business owners an opportunity to claim a share of holiday shoppers’ budget.
Much of the focus of Small Business Saturday is to remind local consumers that small businesses are critical to our local economy and the overall health of our communities.
What better ways to celebrate the diversity, uniqueness and creativity of independent, local businesses than by supporting them during the busiest shopping season of the year?
Local businesses are at the heart of their communities. Small Business Saturday is a way to celebrate what they contribute to their local communities.
In a 2015 survey by the Urban and Land Institute, researchers found that more than 40 percent of respondents specifically noted the desirability of local shopping and entertaining as main features. A neighborhood with a Main Street or thriving local shopping hub can be a big draw. Consumers make these neighborhoods a reality.
Every time you grab a coffee from a local cafe, purchase artwork from a neighborhood artist or dine at a family-run restaurant, shoppers are supporting local business owners and strengthening their communities.
The holiday season is the perfect time to support small, local businesses. Here are some ways to make shopping small a priority this holiday season.
not Take inventory of Small Business Saturday (or other holiday) sales by keeping up with local media. Build holiday shopping lists around the offerings at local businesses.
not Dine out at local restaurants or shop smaller food merchants.
not Visit a local tree farm. When decorating for the holidays, support the farm or local nursery that grows Christmas trees and makes their own wreaths and garlands.
not Keep your money in your community at a local bank or credit union rather than a large national bank. Local banks may have special promotions to boost savings for holiday gifting.
The four-county GLOW region is blessed to have many such shops and businesses. They all add to the economic vitality of Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties. These include jewelers, gift shops, appliance and home improvement stores, and landscaping and other services – and so many other businesses that help to make our communities unique.
Area Chambers of Commerce are helping businesses promote the effort by distributing “Shop Small” materials and encouraging shoppers to visit local businesses. And the Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism and Livingston County Area Chamber of Commerce are both hosting separate holiday-season shopping initiatives in which shoppers can win a variety of prizes or a significant cash reward for shopping locally, saving their receipts and entering the contests .
Small Business Saturday was founded by American Express in 2010 as a community-centric day to support local businesses.
Since then, it’s grown into an annual event that saw consumers spend an estimated $23.3 billion last year, according to the American Express 2021 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey. Collectively, American Express estimates that consumers have spent more than $163 billion supporting small businesses since the event’s inception.
Small businesses benefit from increased sales during the holiday season, which then benefits the communities they occupy. According to American Express, 67 cents of every dollar spent at a small business—whether it’s a retail store, restaurant or another company—stays in the community.
Small Business Saturday was the catalyst for the Shop Small movement, which encourages consumers to patronize small businesses. The initiative celebrates the diversity, uniqueness and creativity of independent, local businesses by supporting them during the busiest shopping season of the year.
After the frenzy of Black Friday, take time Saturday to slow down and shop locally at your favorite small businesses – or maybe stop in to some place new, and discover a new favorite.