Small Business Saturday is the Saturday after Thanksgiving in the U.S. In 2014, Small Business Saturday will be November 29. The day is intended to encourage American shoppers to consider small retailers and merchants as they think of their holiday shopping. It comes as an answer to the Friday after the U.S. Thanksgiving Day (4th Thursday of November) called Black Friday and the following Monday called Cyber Monday. Both of those days have come to be associated with discounts and promotions at large retail chains and ecommerce businesses. Small Business Saturday is a promotional effort intended to encourage consumers to support local businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods around the country.
In 2010, the Small Business Saturday promotion was created and sponsored by American Express, who registered the URLSmallBusinessSaturday.com and registered the trademark for the term Small Business Saturday. The company also created a Facebook page supporting the event and promoted the event with national television advertising and a broad array of public relations activities. It was inspired by the 3/50 Project (choose three independent businesses at which to spend $50 each), that was created by Cinda Baxter, a small business advocate in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
As part of the promotion, the first 10,000 small business owners who signed up to participate received $100 worth of free Facebook advertising, and the first 200,000 American Express cardholders who pledged to use their credit cards on Nov. 27 to support small businesses received a $25 credit.
On the American Express website and Facebook page in 2010, credit was given also to the following co-sponsors and endorsers: American Express OPEN, The 3/50 Project, Business Matchmaking, Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau, Count Me In, Destination DC, E Women Network, Facebook, Girls Inc., Greater Boston Conventional & Visitors Bureau, LA Inc., NAWBO, National Trust for Historic Preservation‘s Main Street Center, NYC & Co., NYC Department of Small Business Services, San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau, SCORE, Women Impacting Public Policy, Women Presidents’ Organization, Women’s Leadership Exchange, Yelp.
In 2014, the Small Business Saturday website lists the year’s premiere sponsors as FedEx, Four Square, Twitter and the U.S. Postal Service. New promotional aspects of 2014 include an interactive map for participating businesses that accept American Express cards and a promotion that enables American Express card holders to get three $10 credits (total, $30) for use at three small businesses that accept the American Express card.
BE PART OF AN AMERICAN STORY
SHOP SMALL® IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD ON NOV 29
The story of America is written in every small business. It’s written in the cafes where we meet our first loves. And in the boutiques where we buy our babies’ clothes. On Nov 29, be there for the businesses that are there for you to help write the next chapter.
Small Business Saturday
Small Business Saturday is an American shopping holiday held on the Saturday after U.S. Thanksgiving during one of the busiest shopping periods of the year. First observed on November 27, 2010, it is a counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which feature big box retail and e-commerce stores respectively. By contrast, Small Business Saturday encourages holiday shoppers to patronize brick and mortar businesses that are small and local. Small Business Saturday is a registered trademark of American Express corporation.
In 2010 the holiday was conceived and promoted by American Express via a nationwide radio and television advertising campaign. That year Amex bought advertising inventory on Facebook, which it in turn gave to its small merchant account holders, and also gave rebates to new customers to promote the event.
American Express publicized the initiative using social media, advertising, and public relations. At least 41 local politicians and many small business groups in the United States issued proclamations concerning the campaign, which generated more than one million Facebook “like” registrations and nearly 30,000 tweets under the Twitter hashtags #smallbusinesssaturday (which had existed since early 2010) and #smallbizsaturday.
The Twitter hashtag #SmallBusinessSaturday has existed since early 2010 and was used to promote small businesses on any Saturday (not solely that Saturday between Black Friday and Cyber Monday). The hashtag is used in a manner similar to #FollowFriday to highlight favorite local businesses. Additionally, some small business owners have run marketing specials on the November Small Business Saturday to help capitalize on the boost in foot or online traffic, as most customers in this time period are actively shopping for the holidays.
Small Business Saturday UK began in the UK in 2013 after the success of Small Business Saturday in America.
|Small Business Saturday|
|Observed by||United States|
|Date||Saturday after U.S. Thanksgiving|
|2013 date||November 30|
|2014 date||November 29|
|2015 date||November 28|
|2016 date||November 26|
|Related to||Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Buy Nothing Day,|
The First Family Supports Small Business Saturday
Raw: Obama Goes Shopping at DC Bookstore
President Barack Obama bought at least two bags of books at Washington’s Politics and Prose bookstore on Small Business Saturday, a day designated to support independently owned businesses. (Nov. 29)
Why You Need to Support Small Businesses
Small business is – quite frankly – big business. The Small Business Administration identified that there are more than 28.2 million businesses operating in the United States as of March 2014, with about 63% of new jobs being created from small businesses between 1993 and mid 2013. Of these 28.2 million businesses, most are “self-employed” – making up about 3/4 of the U.S.’s total businesses. Meanwhile, approximately half of small businesses survive five years or more, many of which make up your local coffee shops, favorite local boutiques, preferred chiropractor or local pet shop.
When you consider how many small businesses surround you in your everyday lives, it is impressive to think about the amount of time, commitment and labor these hard working individuals contribute to make their businesses both come to life and stay alive. Yet, many Americans frequent chain stores without considering their local merchant or other small business options. Whether it’s filling a prescription at a local pharmacy vs. Walgreens or picking up eggs and milk at a local corner store vs. your nearest Walmart, small businesses are too often overlooked for all the wrong reasons. Customers assume that pricing will automatically be higher at a small business vs. a corporate owned store, as well as they dismiss the perks that many small businesses offer such as customer care, inventory assortment and community support. However, did you know that many of these misconceptions about small businesses are just that… misconceptions? Here’s why:
1. Stores do not control pricing of most products. Vendors do. When you consider brand names like Under Armour UA +1.15%, Melissa & Doug children’s products or Fossil FOSL -0.42%, you have to also consider that the prices identified on them for sale are identified by the vendor – not the store. With some exceptions, stores primarily have no control over a product price but rather are provided a MSRP (Manufactured Suggested Retail Price) that tells them the price the product should be sold at. Over time, if the product doesn’t sell or a store has a promotional event taking place, this price may be lowered. But generally speaking, vendors want their products sold at their suggested rate, therefore retailers are not encouraged to lower them unless it’s discussed in advance – such as stores like Nordstrom do for their famous Anniversary Sale. Many small merchants, as well, also offer discounted items for special occasions – therefore not making this exclusive to big box stores.
2. Inventory is not always more easily available at big box stores. Smaller merchants have the same access to vendors as big box stores do, therefore if you need an item and it’s not available in their store, it’s likely they can get in touch with the vendor right away and try and order it for you right away. Of course, there are always exceptions, but most small store owners are eager to go above and beyond in their customer service support and this is just one way they can do so for their customers.
3. Customer service is more personalized, hands-on and noteworthy from smaller businesses. Again, there are exceptions to every rule, but generally speaking you should expect that a smaller business will deliver stronger customer service. Their personal commitment to their business certainly helps in these efforts, but even from their collective team – no matter how small or large it is – typically stronger customer care is experienced. Among the reasons why is that they have a more hands-on role within the company, therefore building a stronger sense of care for the job they do. Additionally, smaller companies are more flexible in their customer support – with a willingness to bend rules if necessary (such as alter a return policy) or deliver VIP treatment when least expected (such as home delivery for a customer during a rain storm). While every business is different, what also makes customer care among small businesses more valuable is just that – being different.
4. Product diversity and options are often greater at small businesses vs. chain stores. Sure, a big box merchant may have a larger footprint in your local community, but that doesn’t mean they have more variety to offer you. When you walk into a chain store, you know exactly what you will find. However, when you walk into a local business, you are often surprised by the inventory options. This is to a customer’s advantage and is among the many reasons to frequent your local stores more often. And remember – just because a big box store is just that… bigger… doesn’t mean they have more to offer. The assortment of inventory at big box store are just deeper, not more diverse.
5. Local business owners are more likely to give back to your community. Beyond actual dollars being kept within your local community – which is significantly higher when dollars are spent at a local business vs. corporate one – small business owners are also more likely to “do good” for your community, as well. Small businesses deliver community character and economic advantages to the town they are positioned in, but also strengthen partnerships among neighbors, residents, other small business owners, community leaders and even schools by offering social and economic relationships. Many also support local causes, creating even more good within a community.
Another interesting point to consider is that small businesses do not always stay small – such as Ben & Jerry’s or Ralph Lauren. Both began as just dreams filled with a tremendous amount of hard work, long days and tired nights. Today, they are among the most recognized brands in our country. Yet while most small business owners will not see this type of growth, their value to our economy and more specifically – your local economy – are just as important. There’s even a day to celebrate them – Small Business Saturday – which takes place the Saturday following Thanksgiving, anchored between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Small Business Saturday, any Saturday or any other day in between, supporting small businesses deserves to be part of your everyday routine.
Nicole Leinbach Reyhle is the Author of Retail 101: The Guide to Managing and Marketing Your Retail Business from McGraw-Hill.
Expansion of Small Business Saturday
American Express continued its backing of the promotion in following years. Beginning in 2011, the company offered its cardholders a $25 “statement credit” for purchases a small businesses made on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. To support the promotion, in 2011 American Express produced a television advertising campaign that it ran on network and cable television networks prior to Small Business Saturday. The official American Express promotion gained the endorsement of dozens of small business state and local government agencies, and small business-oriented organizations. Several large corporations that sell products and services to small businesses also provided financial and advertising support.
Beginning in 2013, American Express began to use another trademarked advertising tag line, “Shop Small” in its Small Business Saturday promotions. The tag line enables the company to extend the marketing efforts surrounding Small Business Saturday into other parts of the year.
Small Business Saturday 2014 Promo
Rocky Hill CT Town Council passes Resolution supporting Small Business Saturday 2014 proposed by Scott Coleman of Business Now!. Mayor Henry Vasel reads resolution into the record.
Shop Small Business Saturday
Thanksgiving is almost here, that means the start of the holiday season! More food, more family and likely, lots of gifts. When you head out for holiday shopping, remember to visit your neighborhood businesses. Those local shops are what help communities thrive.
American Express wants to encourage people to shop at small businesses on “Small Business Saturday” November 29th!
Filed under: Politics | Tagged: Al Jazeera, Allen West (politician), Amazon.com, American Express, Associated Press, Attorney General, Big-box store, Black Friday, Black Friday (shopping), Boycott Black Friday, Business, Cyber Monday, Facebook, Facebook features, grand jury, Hands Up Don't Shop, Police officer, Protest, Shop Small Business Saturday, Small business, Small Business Administration, Small Business Saturday, Twitter | 3 Comments »