Small Business Saturday 2022: Little City Gift Card Launches

FALLS CHURCH, VA — Saturday, Nov. 26, is an important day for independently owned local businesses in Falls Church. It’s Small Business Saturday, the kickoff to “shop small” events that emphasize the power of dollars spent in local communities.

Small Business Saturday is sandwiched between the major Black Friday retail shopping holiday that tends to favor national brands and Cyber ​​Monday, an online shopping event that this year takes place on Nov. 28.

There’s a new promotion launching on Small Business Saturday as a way to support Falls Church businesses and nonprofits. The Little City Gift Card is a digital e-gift card that can be used at participating City of Falls Church businesses. The gift card will be available for purchase online starting Saturday.

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For a limited time, bonus gift cards will be offered for gift card purchases. A $30 gift card purchase will come with a $15 bonus gift card, $50 gift card will come with a $25 bonus gift card, and $100 gift card will come with a $50 bonus gift card. Bonus gift cards will expire 90 days after being issued, and there is a limit of three bonus gift cards per person.

Each gift card purchase will be charged a $1 plus 5 percent of the gift card value fee. After 12 straight months of inactivity, $3 will be deducted per month from the balance.

Find out what’s happening in Falls Churchwith free, real-time updates from Patch.

The gift card program is being launched by the city’s economic development office and economic development authority to support business and nonprofit recovery from COVID-19. It will also encourage residents to spend locally in the city. The program is being funded through American Rescue Plan Act funds.

Participating retail businesses are Action Music, Bikenetic, Brown’s Hardware, Coleman PowerSports, Dominion Jewelers, Doodlehopper 4 Kids, Falls Church Antique Center, Falls Church Hydroponics and Garden Supply, Galleria Florist, Lemon Lane Consignment, Dominion Camera by Ace Photo, New To You , The Toy Nest, Victory Comics, Vida Ciclista Bicycles & Service, Washington Diamond and Zoya’s Atelier.

Participating food and drink businesses include Audacious Aleworks Brewery, Borek-G, Cafe Kindred, Clare and Dons, Cuates Grill, Dominion Wine and Beer, Fanny’s Restaurant, Harvey’s, Kaosarn Thai, Liberty Barbecue, Lil City Creamery, Mr. Wish Eden, Northside Social Falls Church, Preservation Biscuit Company, Rare Bird Coffee Roasters, Robeks Fresh Juice & Smoothies, Tea with Mrs. B, The Happy Tart, Thompson Italian, Vivi Bubble Tea and Babylon Market.

In the beauty category, participating businesses include Great Lengths DC, Kess Hair and Skin Care, Mai Van Hair Salon, Nash Hair Design, Perfect Ending’s Hair Salon, Rejuvenate Hair and Skin, Salon 7 Nails Spa and Snip Snip Barber Shop.

In the entertainment category, participating businesses and nonprofits include Clay Cafe Studio, Creative Cauldron, Falls Church Arts and The State Theatre.

In the fitness category, participating businesses include Falls Church Jazzercise, Jhoon Rhee Tae Kwon Do and YogaSteady. Participating health care businesses include Ascension Chiropractic, Body Dynamics Inc., Comfort First Family Dental, Dr. Poorvi Shah Osteopathy and Integrative Medicine, Falls Church Foot & Ankle Center, Falls Church Pharmacy and Vision Consultants and Surgeons.

Significance of Small Business Saturday

For small business suggestions, American Express has a directory of small businesses in Falls Church to shop small this holiday season.

For many without the scale of established national chains to cruise through COVID-19 pandemic disruptions, fourth-quarter sales could make the difference between hanging on or shuttering their shops.

Last year, Small Business Saturday sales topped $23 billion. Since the first Small Business Saturday in 2010, consumers have spent an estimated $163 billion, according to American Express, the longtime sponsor of the event.

According to a Small Business Administration report, Virginia had 783,977 small businesses in 2021. The 1.6 million employees accounted for nearly half of Virginia’s employees.

Two-thirds of every dollar spent at a local business remains in the community, according to most estimates. There’s a little more to the so-called “local multiplier effect,” according to the American Independent Business Alliance.

A study from that group found that, on average, 48 percent of every purchase at a local independent business is recirculated locally, compared to less than 14 percent of purchases at chain stores.

Small businesses are typically defined by the federal government as those with 500 to 1,500 employees, depending on the industry. They are responsible for two of every three jobs over the past 25 years, according to the Labor Department. Even a partial collapse of small businesses could weaken the overall US economy.

Americans seem to understand how high the stakes are for small businesses.

Almost four out of five (79 percent) said small businesses are essential in their communities, according to a new survey of 1,000 adults conducted by Teneo on behalf of Kabbage by American Express.

The last couple of years have been tough as business owners bent their business models to navigate the pandemic, but many now question whether they’ll be able to continue.

Nearly one-fourth (24 percent) of businesses surveyed in the Kabbage by American Express survey said holiday sales volume will determine if they survive into 2023.

Another measure of merchants’ worries: National Federation of Independent Business members gave their lowest economic expectations ever in a June survey.

Driving their worries are hot inflation they fear will keep customers away and supply chain challenges that could make it difficult to stock the items consumers want, according to the latest MetLife & US Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index. Among specific findings:

  • 50 percent of small businesses say inflation is a top challenge, an increase of 31 percentage points from Q3 2021;
  • 71 percent of small businesses think that when it comes to inflation and price increases, the worst is yet to come;
  • 31 percent of small business owners say their local economy is in good health, down 6 percentage points this quarter.

Small businesses are employing new strategies from inventory management to investment in marketing and payment transaction tools, but they’re also increasingly relying on credit, according to the Kabbage by American Express survey.

Some 21 percent of small business owners in the US planned to take out a small business loan this holiday season. Almost a third (32 percent) planned to use the loan to cover costs to support their business, from inventory bills to common cash flow gaps.

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