With the holidays coming up just around the corner, the official shopping season kicks off for many people soon—usually right after Thanksgiving Day. On Black Friday, thousands of shoppers will make their way to their favorite retail stores and online shopping websites to make their purchases with steep discounts. But there is another, lesser known post-Thanksgiving shopping phenomenon that drives business - not just for big box stores - but for your local small business neighbors: Small Business Saturday!
What is Small Business Saturday?
Small Business Saturday takes place every year around the nation on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. On this day, thousands of shoppers support their favorite local business to get some of their holiday shopping completed while supporting small businesses in their community at the same time. This year, Small Business Saturday will take place on Saturday, November 28!
Small business Saturday has been around for half a decade. Started in 2010 by American Express, this shopping holiday has grown into a retail phenomenon in recent years, garnering more and more support as each annual holiday shopping season passes.
According to Forbes:
“Anchored between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, small businesses stand out thanks in part to the national media attention Small Business Saturday generates, but also in part to the individual efforts small business owners nationwide contribute to make this day one of a kind. As a result, consumers are showing an increase in spending as each Small Business Saturday passes. In fact, a survey conducted on behalf of the National Federation of Independent Businesses and American Express identified that $5.7 billion was spent by consumers aware of the initiative on Small Business Saturday in 2013 alone.”
Yes, billions with a “b”. That money translates into more than just the bottom line for businesses—that money means food on the tables of your local neighbors and fulfilled dreams for those in your community.
Small Business Saturday Builds Stronger Communities
Small business Saturday is much more than just a shopping day; it’s a day when communities come together and celebrate their unique business neighbors. By shopping at small, local businesses, consumers keep money flowing into their communities and help keep their local economies strong instead of pumping money into the corporations whose business is already counted in billions and billions of dollars.
Many communities go further than just offering a shopping experience for their neighbors. In many communities, Small Business Saturday is celebrated as a minor holiday. In many places, businesses come together to provide an almost festival-like atmosphere, offering refreshments, live music and entertainment, and fun activities for the kids. This atmosphere serves to further unite the community together in a celebration of locals helping locals.
Getting Started with Small Business Saturday
So if the kick start to your holiday shopping season is signaled by the passing of the Thanksgiving holiday, don’t stop your purchasing power on Black Friday. Instead, make a commitment to go one step further and help strengthen your local economy by participating in Small Business Saturday this year. Doing so is easy, simply follow these steps:
Pick your favorite local businesses. If you don’t know any local businesses first hand, check the Local Business Director, or just take a trip through your town and find storefronts that strike your fancy.
Gather your friends and family and make a plan to shop at the shops you are most interested in. Be sure to leave room in your plans for extra stops—you’re sure to find a few new shops along the way that might just become your new local favorites.
Shop! All you have to do is grab your family and friends, make your way out to your favorite local shops and commit to spending at least some of the dollars earmarked for your holiday shopping with local vendors. Bonus points if you make a day of it, shop at various local shops, and enjoy a meal out at a local restaurant.
Let’s Get Shopping!
If you have never participated in Small Business Saturday before, this is your chance to explore the quirks of your local business neighbors and become a part of this national phenomenon. If you are a veteran of this shopping day, your friends at Got Bugs encourage you to spread the word.
Events going on in Atlanta this year:
Old Fourth Ward: All day shopping event hosted by Sweet Auburn Works and the Old Fourth Ward Business Association who are encouraging shoppers to take selfies of themselves shopping small at 15 participating small businesses!
Holidays at the High Artisan Market: Meet local artists and purchase one-of-a-kind items from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.!
McDonough Square: Head to McDonough Square in downtown McDonough and browse all of the local businesses who will be offering discounts for the day!
Convince a few of your friends or family members to accompany you on your Small Business Saturday adventure this year, and raise awareness about the importance of keeping money flowing in your local economy. With the help of neighbors like you, your area’s local small businesses can continue to thrive and contribute to what makes your community unique!