1. Black Friday is not for everyone
Black Friday as we know it has been around since the late 80’s; a time when big retailers entice shoppers out of their Thanksgiving stupor with even bigger holiday sales. Malls and chain stores now literally open in the middle of the night, tempting customers away from their warm beds with bonus gifts and special deals.
I’m not a fan! For me, it makes holiday shopping feel like such a chore. The rampant commercialism also seems to speed up time and stress me out. Before all the little gremlins even donned their Halloween costumes this year, I remember seeing twinkling Christmas lights in stores. What happened to turkey day?!
2. Small Business Saturday is cool!
A good thing that has come out of Black Friday though, is the offshoot known as Small Business Saturday. This special day was created in 2010 by American Express to encourage people to shop local in their communities.
Perhaps I’m biased because I own a small business. Point well taken!
But hold up! Here are just a few legit reasons why it’s in everyone’s best interest to show some small biz love this Saturday:
- More money stays in the local economy, supporting jobs, local taxes, schools & services.
- About 75% of small businesses give back to the community each year by donating to charity, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.
- Small businesses create about 66% of net new jobs.
- Independent businesses give our cities and towns a unique flavor that turns them into destinations.
As a consumer, I cherish time spent strolling small towns in search of holiday treasures. Mom & I would often make a day of it! Midway through shopping all the interesting little boutiques, we would also stop for lunch at a local restaurant or a warm-up at a cozy coffeehouse. Shopping small has always been about the experience of spending not only money but quality time with someone special…
It can also be a private escape and quiet reprieve from malls, traffic, and crowds. There is a sense of space, walking from shop to shop in the brisk air, observing and connecting with a community.
3. Why #ShopSmall? The real truth…
Whether on your own or with friends, what better time than Small Business Saturday to hang out and trade your cash for quality goods and services where it matters most? The reason most businesses close is still low sales. So, if you’re a fellow small biz owner, I hope you’ll realize an important truth…
We need our customers more than they need us! That means, roll out the red carpet and treat every guest like the VIP that s/he is.
If you’re a shopper, the need is real to do business locally on Small Business Saturday and all year long in order to preserve our communities. Join the movement and #ShopSmall! All you have to do is bundle up and head out to explore your favorite downtown. We’ll be waiting for you!