How You Can Support Small Business Saturday


The Saturday following Thanksgiving plays hide and seek between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but easily stands on it’s own as one of the most important shopping days of the year. Founded six years ago in response to small business owners’ most pressing need – getting more customers during the busy holiday shopping season – Small Business Saturday has quickly earned its’ stripes among holiday traditions. Last year alone, 88 million consumers shopped small on Small Business Saturday – which was up 14.9 percent from 2013. Additionally, consumers spent $14.3 billion at local and independent businesses on Small Business Saturday in 2014, and this year the hype and buzz surrounding the day seems to have only increased.

From Shops to Spas to Salons and More 

Year round, shopping small is widely encouraged among communities and businesses alike thanks to the ‘Shop Small’ message that is branded with Small Business Saturday. This message is supported by all types of small businesses – including restaurants, cafes, spas, fitness studios, community art foundations and more – making it a day for small businesses, communities and consumers alike to look forward to. As a small business owner myself – and admittedly, a huge fan of shopping small – I know first hand the strength that a nationally recognized message can offer a small business owner, and it’s for this reason among others that Small Business Saturday has continued to see extraordinary success and growth since it first came to be in 2010.

shopsmallbag-1455x1940The Shop Small message is recognized year round, with Small Business Saturday – the Saturday following Thanksgiving each year – becoming an increasingly popular holiday tradition. Photo Credit: Retail Minded

With free marketing resources, event guides, online ads and more available at, businesses can utilize these resources as part of their Small Business Saturday planning – making it a nearly turn-key experience. This easy to implement strategy combined with the national attention that Small Business Saturday generates is something any small business can appreciate, helping to make their job of having a successful Small Business Saturday that much easier. Interestingly, however, some businesses and communities have yet to be a part of Small Business Saturday due to the confusion as to whether or not it’s necessary to accept American Express. As the founding partner of Small Business Saturday, American Express created Small Business Saturday to celebrate and support small businesses, while welcoming any business to be a part of the day. Their goal was simple yet their dreams were big. They wanted to help drive more attention to small businesses during one of the busiest shopping seasons of the year, and fortunately for small businesses across the country, their idea has, in fact, become a big, big deal.

History Tells Us It Works 

Among the small business owners who has had success with Small Business Saturday include store owners Bill Jette and Dixie Carroll of Rhode Island based J Marcel. Last year, Jette and Carroll saw more sales on Small Business Saturday than any day of the six and half years that the store has been in business. They saw a mix of old and new customers, many of which noted that they were shopping to celebrate Small Business Saturday. Meanwhile, Miami based Ricardo Trillos – who owns chocolate shop Cao Chocolates – has been involved with Small Business Saturday since its first year in 2010. Last year, Trillos served shoppers pastries and wine and had a line of people outside waiting to get into the shop. Ricardo experienced a 400% boost in sales compared to Small Business Saturday in 2013 and stayed open three additional hours to accommodate the high foot traffic and sales. Each of these business owners were not alone in their enthusiasm for the day, however. In 2014, there were 174k Small Business Saturday tweets on November 29, 2014 – last year’s official Small Business Saturday – and 356k total tweets in the month of November in 2014, as identified by Union Metrics. To compare, there were 147k tweets on Small Business Saturday in 2013, and 279k the month of November.

Expanding on this, the fourth-annual Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey recently released by the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) and American Express identified that supporting local small businesses continues to be a priority for shoppers nationwide. This is good news for those planning to support Small Business Saturday – now entering its sixth year – with 55 percent of U.S. consumers reported that they are aware of the day, making this the highest figure yet recorded. Possibly even more exciting, however, is that 83 percent say Small Business Saturday inspires them to Shop Small all year long.

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