‘Shop Small’ on Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday
While nearly by definition overshadowed by the cultural behemoth that is Black Friday, Small Business Saturday is nonetheless a great idea whose time is overdue in coming.

The Saturday after Thanksgiving has been designated as a day to boost sales at owner-operated (or, if you prefer, “mom and pop”), local retail outlets. The day is meant to remind consumers of the unique advantages to shopping away from the monolithic big box chains, and to keep at least some of their holiday spending within their communities.

Introduced in 2010, this special celebration of entrepreneurship has only grown in popularity and public awareness. Last year alone, more than $5.7 billion were spent by consumers who were specifically aware of it being Small Business Saturday, according to the National Federation of Independent Business and American Express.

The day is sandwiched between the madness of Black Friday and the incredibly lucrative Cyber Monday; from which the chains and e-retailers primarily benefit, respectively. While an online element surely helps many small businesses to compete in our current climate, this American Express sponsored day is intended to encourage holiday shoppers to patronize brick-and-mortar businesses, and to put money back into their local economies.

While there are advantages to big box stores when it comes to certain kinds of shopping, there is still no substitute for the personal touch of a mom and pop shopping experience. Additionally, for every $100 spent at a local, owner-operated business, $68 stays in the local economy. By contrast, only $48 remains local when you shop at a chain. Also, local businesses themselves employ local goods and services at more than twice the rate of chains.

You can learn more here.

In the clip below, during last year’s Small Business Saturday, President Obama, along with daughters Malia and Sasha, shows his support for the day by patronizing an independently owned D.C. bookseller.