What You Need to Know About Small Business Saturday
It’s beginning to look a lot like…holiday shopping season.
Especially on Main Street, USA, where shop owners and other small businesses have already begun to decorate their streets and storefronts in boisterous holiday lighting. This creates a sense of community and good cheer. And hope: that this year’s holiday season will put them over the top, helping them compensate for those leaner months that are either behind or ahead.
While there’s a lot of economic data surrounding Black Friday (such as big-box stores making an average of 30 percent of their annual income in 24 hours), little is known about the positive financial buffer that sales provide small businesses during this season.
According to the Small Business Association, there are 28.8 million small businesses in the U.S., which in turn account for 99.7% of all businesses in the nation. Companies with less than $7.0 million in annual sales are widely considered small businesses.
What’s more, according to statistics from the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, for every $100 spent at a local business, approximately $67 stays in the community; but when you shop at a big-box store, just $32 out of $100 stays in the community. That means that money spent at small businesses have more than double the impact on your community than the typical mall lineup.
Added to this, small businesses not only to represent a community’s identity, their success is a source of pride. Consider, for example, such establishments as McConnell’s Ice Cream in Santa Barbara, Trina Turk in Palm Springs, Amoeba Music in L.A., and CP Shades in Santa Monica and Marin County--all of which have achieved national fame.
In 2010, American Express started its Small Business Saturday initiative to recognize the large part that small businesses play in anchoring the neighborhoods in which they do business. In 2016, shoppers were reported to have spent $15.4 billion. That’s $10.3 billion returning to the local economies!
For the rest of the year, to stay competitive, most small businesses maintain a virtual as well as a physical presence. Websites like TripAdvisor, Yelp, and OpenTable have helped put a spotlight on local businesses and restaurants, while company websites, Facebook pages, Twitter ads and ecommerce sites keep the back channels humming. Notes Lauryn Johnson, Marketing Content Manager for Dallas-based web marketing company DexYP, “Having a strong web presence today is akin to having a professional business card 25 years ago. But instead of customers having to dig through a cluttered wallet to find you, you now have the power to be just a click away.”
But no matter how you connect with your Main Street small businesses throughout the year, show them some extra love on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017, and be sure to use the hashtag #shopsmall.
Not only will there be special incentives for shopping, you’ll be connecting with your community. And isn’t that what the holidays are all about? Happy Holidays to all.
About The Author:
Terri Hardin is a veteran media professional reporting on the hospitality industry. She has held senior editorial positions at Cvent and Nielsen Business Media.
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