Small Business Saturday is now a national holiday included within the week of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Similar to the mentioned days, Small Business Saturday focuses on generating buzz and increasing consumer awareness for services / products provided by surrounding businesses. Unlike the two other shopping days however, Small Business Saturday has a second objective, and that is to promote and advance local operations in an effort to create a supportive community.
Last year, shoppers spent an estimated $15.4 billion at independent retailers and restaurants on the day, according to a survey conducted by the National Federation of Independent Business for Amex. That was a decrease from the estimated $16.2 billion in 2015. In 2012, the first year the survey was taken by the NFIB, it’s estimated that the smaller merchants rang up $5.5 billion in sales.
Started by American Express, Small Business Saturday has grown into something more than just credit card purchases and is now about expanding awareness for local shops and Main Street offerings. In an industry where smaller operations could use the needed marketing and support this is a great way to do so. I can personally atest to supporting the day for the past 3 years (this year included), and have even found a few new hang out spots in the process.
Supporting your community is important and Small Business Saturday is just the excuse you need to drive to your local downtown and check out all its offerings. But the day isn’t just meant to gain new consumers for the weekend. Unlike Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, this day is more of an introduction, with the hopes of continued support, and I think that this is a great way to do it.