What does it mean to “Shop Small” and why should you shop small on Small Business Saturday? What is Small Business Saturday?
Shop Small started in November 2010 not as a grassroots initiative, but as a promotional campaign from American Express. The reward for consumers taking part in Small Business Saturday is a credit for American Express cardholders who shop at participating small businesses. While this year’s credit is smaller than last ($10 as opposed to last year’s Shop Small $25 credit) it’s still beneficial to shop small.
With the heavy focus given to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, small businesses are the ones who miss out on the increased sales activity. Including the new Gray Thursday, as some are calling Thanksgiving due to earlier and earlier Black Friday store openings, small businesses are faced with an even greater struggle for sales and marketing. American Express developed the concept of Small Business Saturday to encourage their cardholders (and now consumers overall) to look locally and shop within their neighborhoods at somewhere other than an outlet or major retailer.
While Small Business Saturday is new, Cyber Monday is also a recent marketing invention, as well as Black Friday — the biggest shopping day of the year took root in the early 1970’s in the United States. Even though it’s a new tradition, Small Business Saturday is worth keeping. Bank of America conducted a survey of small business owners and found that over ninety percent of them saw little to no increase in their business when it came to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Small Business Saturday is important, not only for sustaining local businesses, but adding to the neighborhood economy and giving yourself a great range of choices for where and how you shop. If you’re familiar with donating to charity, you know how powerful your money can be. In 2012, by shopping small more than $5.5 billion went to small businesses.
Why look to Shop Small on Small Business Saturday? As we wrote last year, you would be keeping your money local, getting a statement credit from American Express, avoiding Black Friday and any aftermath, and actually helping to better the environment. It’s a small but powerful way to help make your neighborhood a better place.