Get ready: the best shopping day of the year is coming this week. You can find bargains, discover great and unique gifts, meet your neighbors, and feel good about every dollar you spend. It’s Small Business Saturday—the Saturday after Thanksgiving—and it’s coming this Saturday, November 25.
It’s fun to go shopping on Small Business Saturday. I promise you’ll be in a great mood when you #ShopSmall (use that hashtag to socialize all the fun things you’re doing Saturday). You’ll support your own community, create local jobs for your neighbors, and you won’t be in an over-lit impersonal superstore or fighting crowds at the mall (though there are often independent retailers at some local malls).
It’s a guilt-free shopping day. How often do you get those?
Here are seven ways to make shopping this Saturday the best shopping day of the year for you and your family:
- Have breakfast at a local independent restaurant or café to start the day off right. Relax, it’s a fun family day. Then have lunch and/or dinner at an independent restaurant too.
- Shop—and I mean pull out your wallet and make those cash registers ring—at your local, independent retail stores. Get your holiday gifts taken care of early. Check local listings for Small Business Saturday events in local shopping districts and check the map at http://www.shopsmall.com/ to find independent small businesses in your community.
- Many of your local independent stores may have an online ecommerce site too. Buying from them counts as shopping small on Small Business Saturday too.
- Find a special event at your local independent bookstore, as Saturday is also “IndiesFirst” day. You can find a map of special events at http://www.indiebound.org/indies-first. Whether they host a special event or not, indies are great places to stock up on gifts.
- Hit an exercise class at a locally-owned independent gym or schedule a session with a self-employed personal trainer. Not that energetic? Visit an independently-owned spa. Massages help get you through the holidays.
- Order handmade gifts online through an online marketplace that supports independent craftspeople, such as Etsy, Artfire, Aftcra, The Grommet.
- Take in a live show Saturday night at local theatre or arts venue or party all night at a local pub. They’re small businesses too. And it’s all for the cause, right?
You don’t even have to leave home to shop small on Small Business Saturday. Wrap yourself up in a blanket on your couch, turn on a football game, and just go online and do your holiday gift shopping from local, independent stores and order half-time food delivered from a local, independent restaurant. I bet their pizza is better than most of those national pizza chains anyway.
If you own a small business, remember: you’re a consumer too. So make sure you’re shopping small. We small business owners have to stick together and support one another.
Consumers love small businesses and plan on supporting small businesses this holiday season. Some findings from the 2017 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, from American Express, the founding partner of Small Business Saturday:
- 44% of those who plan to shop small on Small Business Saturday will spend more than they spent last year.
- At least 80% of consumers will shop at a small independent business or eat in a locally owned restaurant this holiday season.
- 89% of consumers aware of Small Business Saturday say the day encourages them to shop small year-round.
- A whopping 90% of all survey respondents feel it’s important to support the small businesses in their communities.
“Small Business Saturday provides people an opportunity to discover and celebrate the variety of small businesses that make their communities thrive,” said Elizabeth Rutledge, Executive Vice President, Global Advertising & Brand Management at American Express. “Beyond visiting their favorite go-to spots, shoppers say Small Business Saturday inspires them to visit places they have not been to before and would not have otherwise tried.”
While out shopping, remember to show your small business love on social media. Post your pics on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter using #ShopSmall and #SmallBizSat. Help spread the word about the importance of shopping small, because you’re not just buying holiday presents, you’re strengthening your community.
Copyright, Rhonda Abrams, 2017
This article originally ran in USA Today on November 22, 2017