As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact local economies, it's more important than ever for small businesses to connect with their community. Shoppers are looking for ways to support local businesses, and Small Business Saturday provides the perfect opportunity.
This year, the annual shopping event will be Saturday, November 28. American Express introduced this national shopping day in 2010 in an effort to support small businesses during an economic recession. This first Saturday after Thanksgiving provides business owners and managers an opening to connect with their communities and generate new revenue and also offers holiday season shoppers a fun way to endorse local businesses and acquire unique holiday gifts.
Small Business Saturday is no small deal. According to American Express, 62% of U.S. small businesses surveyed said they need consumer spending to return to pre-COVID levels by the end of the year to stay in operation. The opportunity is huge—the U.S. Small Business Administration reports that American consumers spent $19.6 billion on Small Business Saturday in 2019.
Some of the businesses that may benefit from participating in a Small Business Saturday sale or campaign include jewelry stores, men’s and women’s apparel stores, exercise/fitness equipment shops, outdoor recreation stores, restaurants and many more.
The American Express Small Business Saturday website is packed with suggestions on how small local businesses can capitalize on the special day. A few tips are to champion the community cause in your town, rally other businesses to participate, organize a local event and to promote the “Shop Small” effort. If your local Chamber of Commerce or Downtown Development Authority are organizing Small Business Saturday activities in your community, try to take advantage of those efforts.
Make sure you're sharing how your business plans to keep your customers safe and making the necessary accommodations to support safe shopping as necessary. Recognize that you may need to offer different ways for customers to support you this year. If you're able to offer delivery or curbside pickup of purchases, let your customers know about their options with posts to your website and social media channels. If you have modified your hours of operation, make sure your Google My Business profile is accurate.
The holiday shopping season looks a little different this year. It's critical to think creatively about how your business can connect with consumers in new ways to make sure you get the most out of this important time of year.
Small Business Saturday provides businesses an abundance of options and the opportunity to build community relationships and set an upbeat tone for the holiday season. Happy Thanksgiving!