Small Business Saturday has been getting some great coverage from all over and we’re still more than a week away, so there’s even more time to spread the good word of local business support. So far we've discussed how Small Business Saturday has grown over the years, the tools you can use to promote it this year, why you should get involved and how one Swipely merchant increased sales by 400% their first year participating.
In our Small Business Saturday news roundup, discover what some establishments are planning for November 30. Keep reading and get a few great ideas that you can expand on!
61 Million Shoppers Expected on Small Business Saturday
The National Retail Federation (NRF) reported this week that 140 million shoppers are expected to hit the stores on Thanksgiving weekend, with 61 million shopping on Small Business Saturday.
How are shoppers determining where to go? The NRF reports that 49.1 percent of shoppers use circulars for sale information. More than a third of shoppers pay attention to digital messaging online and in email and 27 percent follow business websites.
Going by these numbers, it’s important to keep your website and social media content updated.
Collaboration is Good for Communities
In related Small Business Saturday news, the Small Business Saturday Insights Survey says 39 percent of small business owners are planning on collaborating with other local business to create a community event.
The same survey reported that 75 percent of small business owners believe the holiday would be more successful if communities participated in events together.
There’s clearly a desire to work together for small business success and many businesses are jumping on that bandwagon. Neighborhood Circles, provided by American Express and Mightybell – the company behind custom-built communities like Lean In - are one way you can still get involved with other small local businesses.
Think Energy Gets Involved in Small Business Saturday
Think Energy normally supports small commercial customers with energy support, but is going a step further this month. In support of Small Business Saturday, Think Energy is donating $5 for every comment and photo posted on its Facebook page that mentions a favorite local small business.
The company will donate up to $5,000 and the money will be going to the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO).
Three Sleepy Illinois Cities Get Ready for Small Business Saturday
The Sauk Valley Shop Small coalition (SVSS) begins planning their Small Business Saturday festivities in September for the three small self-titled "sleepy" cities in Illinois that they represent. They curate local musicians and artists and aim to fight Black Friday by providing a more relaxing environment for shoppers on Saturday.
"In an economy that's really stacked against small business owners, the shop small movement dramatically strengthened our collective voice. We're able to work with three dozen stores to cross promote and achieve much better results through the power of collaborating," says co-founder Lisa Higby LeFevre, who co-owns Distinctive Gardens and won the 2011 Facebook American Express Open Big Break for Small Business contest.
SVSS doesn't stop in November though, they're planning more Small Business Saturdays in February, May, and August of 2014.
Community Leaders Speak Up for Local Business Owners
It’s not just small businesses that are buzzing about Small Business Saturday; town officials are promoting the November 30 holiday too.
City leaders in Georgia are speaking up about supporting local communities and adding to the economy by hiring more employees this time of year.
In Mississippi, a Facebook group has been started in support of shopping local. Small Business Saturday North Mississippi is busy promoting great local businesses, sharing stats and providing great reasons to potential customers as to why they should shop local.
Small businesses in Ardmore, Pennsylvania are offering a contest to Facebook users who “like” their page. Participants who “like” the page are entered into a free raffle to win a gift certificate that can be used at a variety of participating shops and restaurants.
In Nebraska, the Columbus area Chamber of Commerce is also running a promotion for the fourth consecutive year. The promotion gives guests 10 percent off every purchase, with some merchants offering an additional discount for a total of 20 percent off purchases.
The President Supports Local Businesses, too
During the last few years, President Barack Obama has gotten involved in the local shopping spirit by going to small businesses in his area. This article shows his participating last year by going to One More Page Books in Arlington, Virginia.
The Pilot Highlights Small Business Support
The Pilot, a North Carolina newspaper, published an article this week with that elaborated on the previously mentioned survey with statistics from American Express on Small Business Saturday.
For example, 33 percent rely on social media most to promote Small Business Saturday to their customers.
The post highlights how shoppers can impact their local communities and includes a great quote from Gregg Thompson, the North Carolina state director of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), who reminded consumers, "if you want to make a difference this holiday season, shop local and shop small."
Additionally, an article on The Almanac shares some statistics about the 3/50 Project, which is an initiative that suggests people spend $50 at three independent stores each month.
According to the article, “For every $100 spent at local, independent businesses, $68 goes back into the local economy “through taxes, payroll and other expenditures."
National chain stores only bring $43 back to the local economy, so there’s big advantages to your local community by shopping local!
As a quick reminder, the AMEX site provides downloadable marketing materials and signage, email and social media templates and Neighborhood Circles for connecting with participating small businesses in your local area.
Will you be joining other local small businesses to offer a great promotion or are you planning on tackling Small Business Saturday with your staff head-on? We’d love to know what you’re up to so we can share your story with the rest of the community.