What is Small Business Saturday, and Why Does it Matter?

SmallBusinessSaturdayWhatitIsandWhyItMatters

The most exciting day of the year is on the horizon: Small Business Saturday. After the chaos of Black Friday, SBS is the day that consumers take time to enjoy and support the local shops and restaurants in their neighborhoods.

What is Small Business Saturday (SBS)?

Small Business Saturday (SBS) began on the Saturday after Thanksgiving in 2010, and thanks to American Express, it has become as iconic as Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Unlike the other two shopping events that are solely about finding bargains, SBS is designed to celebrate local communities and the small businesses that decorate them.

How do small businesses affect their communities?

Shopping locally on SBS or any other day of the week benefits more than just the businesses. According to studies compiled by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, money spent at local businesses stays in the local economy. These studies have repeatedly found that money spent in small local businesses stays in the community at a rate of more than two to one.

For example, a study conducted in Salt Lake City in 2012 found that “the local retailers return a total of 52 percent of their revenue to the local economy, compared to just 14 percent for the national chain retailers.”

Along with keeping money in the local economy, supporting small businesses also helps the community and the local economy. In another study about consumers in West Michigan, researchers found:

if residents … were to redirect 10 percent of their total spending from chains to locally owned businesses, the result would be $140 million in new economic activity for the region, including 1,600 new jobs and $53 million in additional payroll.”

Promoting Your Business on SBS

Small business should take advantage of the hashtag #SmallBusinessSaturday to share their special events for the day. American Express offers free marketing tools for this special day to promote your business and your community.

Whether consumers spend at local shops or they dine at local restaurants, the benefits of this shopping event are numerous. Adding jobs and keeping revenues in local communities are just two of them but, the benefits get even bigger. Supporting small local businesses instead of big-box chains during the busy shopping season:

  • Increases property values
  • Reduces environmental waste
  • Improves local schools
  • Enhances diversity
  • Encourages more local businesses to open
  • Increases tourism
  • Strengthens local communities
  • Develops neighborhood identities

So, Why Does SBS Matter?

Small Business Saturday matters because people matter. Without small businesses, communities would not have their own unique identities. Consider the neighborhoods in the Chicagoland area; they are pleasantly defined by their small businesses and the employees and consumers who frequent them. Communities are embracing small businesses and SBS provides businesses and consumers the opportunity to show appreciation for all they do every day of the year.

Want to make sure your SBS is a surefire success?? Don’t miss this…

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Kristen Bentley

Kristen is a freelance writer and high school English teacher.