Small Business Saturday took place on this past Saturday, November 25, and similar to previous years, it was a banner day for the 29.6 million small businesses operating in the U.S.
Originated in 2010 by American Express, Small Business Saturday is an effort to support local economies by shining a spotlight on the small businesses that comprise 99.9 percent of our country’s enterprises and that employ nearly 58 million people – almost half of all workers nationwide. In 2011, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution in support of Small Business Saturday.
Since then, individuals and organizations have become Neighborhood Champions of Small Business Saturday, engaging their communities and planning events and activities each year on the day after Black Friday. Business associations, nonprofit trade groups, municipalities and public officials have also come together to create the Small Business Saturday Coalition, and nearly 100 corporations now lend their support.
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Local business owners rely on Small Business Saturday to drive sales both online and at their brick and mortar establishments. In 2016, an estimated 112 million consumers reported shopping at small businesses on Small Business Saturday, a 13 percent increase from 2015.
If you’re a consumer, you may have found yourself shopping at a small business or eating at a locally owned restaurant on November 25. Your commerce can greatly help more small businesses succeed and drive up economic growth in your own backyard.
If you own a small business, it’s never too early to start preparing for next year’s Small Business Saturday. Here are a few things to consider:
- Remind customers of Small Business Saturday when they come into your business
- Update your website and online social media presence with details about the event
- When on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, use specific hashtags like #SmallBizSat and #ShopSmall
- Take advantage of the free, customizable marketing materialsprovided by American Express
- Plan to provide customers with extra shopping incentives to drive traffic to your business
- Extend your hours and make customer service a high priority
- Make sure that you’ve got enough stock and supplies on hand to deal with the extra activity
Give your small business the gift of increased revenue by participating in the yearly Small Business Saturday event. With 72 percent of American consumers aware of this day, you don’t want to leave dollars on the table that you could be putting in your pocket.