What is Small Business Saturday?
The turkey has been eaten. The big parade has been watched. The family tradition of Thanksgiving has come to an end. While this usually signifies a long night of relaxation is ahead, many begin to prepare for the biggest shopping day of the year. That’s right. We’re talking about Black Friday. Love it or hate it, Black Friday is a US tradition that doesn’t seem to be fading from popularity any time soon. Did you know that Black Friday isn’t the only shopping event after Thanksgiving? In fact, in the last five years, a new shopping tradition has made an impact in many communities around the US! How much do you know about Small Business Saturday?
Black Friday Vs. Small Business Saturday
Over the years, the shopping tradition that is Black Friday has taken on a life of its own. For better or worse, crowds of shoppers race to stores for the big discounts. Sometimes, the mad rush for discounts can cause quite the scene. These scenes often start to play out like an episode of The Walking Dead. Still, Black Friday undoubtedly boosts the economy.
If you look forward to long lines, large crowds, and an overtaxed staff that can’t offer even minimum customer service, then Black Friday is the perfect shopping holiday for you. However, if this isn’t your cup of tea, you should be happy to know that Black Friday is not the only shopping tradition you can look forward to. In fact, shoppers have many options to choose from. Most notably, Small Business Saturday is a way to get your shopping in and contribute to your local economy.
American Express started Small Business Saturday in 2010. The sole purpose of the event is to promote small businesses. So remember, Saturday, November 28th, 2015, is much more than just a shopping tradition; Small Business Saturday is a community effort. Like with Black Friday, many participating businesses run special promotions, which makes it the perfect opportunity to add local flavor to your holiday or seasonal shopping. Participating in Small Business Saturday gives back to your local businesses and the community as a whole.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) November 23, 2011
Today, support small businesses in your community by shopping at your favorite local stores. #SmallBusinessSaturday
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) November 26, 2011
Small Business Saturday’s History
Small Business Saturday has seen quite a bit of traction since it was created. In fact, in 2011, senators, governors, and President Obama reached out to the public to endorse the new tradition. It was even officially recognized by the US Senate. This support helped the community event grow strong. Small Business Saturday has continued to grow at an unprecedented rate.
In 2012, 73.9 million consumers participated in Small Business Saturday. This is thanks to the media coverage and the advertising tools provided by American Express, including advertising and social media marketing strategies, to help small businesses spread awareness. This exposure proved invaluable to smaller companies, especially those in the shadow of the largely corporate Black Friday.
In 2013, Neighborhood Champions took the spotlight. These individuals promoted Small Business Saturday by organizing local community events, such as scavenger hunts and “kick-off” breakfasts, to start off the day. About 1,450 Neighborhood Champions signed up. This ushered in a new form of community involvement for Small Business Saturday.
By 2014, Small Business Saturday had truly taken off. An estimated $14.3 billion dollars was spent at small, local, and independent businesses. Through neighborhood support, media support, and community cooperation, Small Business Saturday was an overwhelming success and a boom for smaller businesses. Much like its counterpart, Black Friday, Small business Saturday is here to stay.
How can you get involved?
Finding participating stores is not difficult. If you look closely, looking for hashtags or signs, you will see that a lot of small businesses participate in the event. Also, American Express has provided a very useful tool to help you search for participating businesses. Start here or click here to find participating businesses near you. Keep an eye out for the promotional logos that are popping up everywhere!
Small Business Saturday has proven to be a nation-wide phenomenon. As a community effort, it has done more for small businesses than the big-box store dominated Black Friday. This event is good for the community; it is good for the economy; and it helps consumers discover local options that they may never have considered. All in all, it is a win-win-win scenario for small businesses, the local community, and consumers alike.
In 2015, be among the many taking advantage of this wonderful tradition. Show your support for Small Business Saturday. Join us at 1 Stop Landscape Supply on November 28th.