Shop with Thanks on Small Business Saturday

In what has become an annual tradition, EGC presents this reminder about the value of shopping locally on Small Business Saturday® as a thank you to neighborhood merchants. 

Giving thanks

This Thursday, Thanksgiving festivities will happen everywhere in the nation. Some will celebrate at large family gatherings that call to mind Norman Rockwell’s famous painting, “Freedom from Want,” while others will have smaller get togethers. Whatever the setting, Thanksgiving is a holiday that’s true to its name: Giving thanks for what we have—and which we all too often may take for granted. With that in mind, let’s not take neighborhood stores and shops for granted two days after this holiday: Small Business Saturday. Local businesses—we who are about to shop—salute you!

The importance of Small Business Saturday

It’s no secret that the turbulent economy and aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic (yes, despite being contained, COVID is still lurking) have impacted how people spend their money. As pointed out by the U.S. Small Business Administration, this is the very the reason why shoppers should mark November 25th on their calendars and proactively seek out neighborhood places where they can purchase products or services. Doing so truly makes a difference that may not be fully realized.

Small Business Saturday.EGC Weekly.2023

The dollars and cents behind spending at small businesses

In a report published by the National Federation of Independent Business, approximately two-thirds of every dollar ($0.67) that is spent at a local business remains within that neighborhood or community. Going further, each dollar that adds up to full a purchase at a close-to-home establishment creates an additional half-dollar in local business activity—a direct result of employee spending and businesses that choose to buy locally. Let’s look at last year…

Last year’s Small Business Saturday success

There was an estimated revenue of $17.9 billion earned on last year’s Small Business Saturday. This year will hopefully equal or surpass that figure. Many individuals will diligently spend their time and money on this day to shop locally. And this year, American Express®—the founder and power behind Small Business Saturday—has given other organizations the opportunity to promote this special shopping day: The Neighborhood Champion Program for Small Business Saturday® and the Shop Small® Movement.

This year’s “Neighborhood Champion” initiative

Through the Neighborhood Champion Program for Small Business Saturday® and the Shop Small® Movement, local business and community organizations and chambers of commerce can become “Neighborhood Champions” to rally support for local enterprises. One of the goals behind this initiative is to make local stores, restaurants, and other establishments the “go to” places not only on Small Business Saturday, but throughout the entire year as well. Here’s hoping this step will catch on and make an impact for small businesses everywhere, both financially and culturally.

Checklist for local stores

Businesses that regularly celebrate Small Business Saturday know the preparation process, but a brief review can’t hurt. If you are the proprietor of a new business, here are points to practice:

  • Download Small Business Saturday swag: Visit this American Express/Small Business Saturday webpage, which hosts a variety of downloadable assets that alerts neighborhood customers to the fact you are celebrating this special shopping day. These materials are categorized by “General,” “Retail,” “Dining,” and “Beauty.”
  • Social media: Post special deals on any or all of the various platforms—Facebook, Instagram, and/or Pinterest—where your business is represented. (Oh, and since last year, even TikTok has gotten into Small Business Saturday.)
  • Holiday tie-ins: With the holiday shopping season officially starting the day after Thanksgiving, Small Business Saturday is the perfect day to showcase and display anything from great gift ideas for family and friends to eye-catching ornaments, crafts, and related merchandise for those neighbors who have a mind to shop.
  • Publicize nearby small businesses—and ask them to do the same for you: If possible, organize a meeting with the owners of other small businesses that are near yours and develop a plan that promotes all the establishments. Flyers for each local shop or store, for example, can be offered to customers who visit one place, and then possibly inspire them to go to the others.

Thank you, small businesses, for your contributions to the communities you serve.

Shoppers, please show your appreciation on November 25th by purchasing from the local businesses in your neighborhoods.