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Shop Small: How to get involved in 2015’s Small Business Saturday

Posted by: Jen Maisch Jen Maisch
on November 9, 2015

Small Business Saturday (SBS) is so well-known, it’s hard to believe that it was only founded in 2010. This year Small Business Saturday falls on November 28, and is sure to capitalize on the surge of shoppers between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Small Business Saturday isn’t just a sale, but a true community event uniting local business owners all over the country, and even internationally.

There are 23 million small businesses in the country, so it is a safe conclusion that some businesses haven’t yet capitalized on the benefits of the annual shopping day. But they should consider participating in this opportunity: $14.3 billion was spent by consumers on 2014’s Small Business Saturday, a sizable increase from 2013.

With the event less than a month away, founder American Express has compiled a portfolio of tools and marketing materials that small businesses can use to get the word out. How can you get involved?

Spread the word. The key to having a successful Small Business Saturday is getting the word out early. Once you decide that you are hosting an event on SBS, spread the word via all of your businesses’ social media channels and through email blasts. That way, local residents can plan a trip to your store as part of their weekend and holiday shopping plans.

Don’t delay. American Express offers signage, welcome mats, and other promotional materials for a business to ensure that customers take notice of the shops participating in the event. But the items are only available for a limited time and will need to be shipped.

Does your business accept American Express cards? You get additional perks including free online ads throughout the year and your business can be included on the Shop Small map. American Express created this interactive map to plot all business addresses, complete with company descriptions and photography.

Neighborhood Champions

Municipalities and local chambers of commerce can get in on the action to keep shoppers’ dollars local. As the name implies, Neighborhood Champions was created for organizations to raise awareness about the area’s local businesses. For example, Belair-Edison Neighborhoods, Inc., a Baltimore-area nonprofit that fosters an environment where residents, business owners, and stakeholders want to invest their time and money, developed a Small Business Saturday-themed scavenger hunt. For participants to receive the next clue in the hunt, they visited a local small business to find the answer, giving them a tour of all that their neighborhood had to offer.

Other neighborhoods in years past created passports of all the different businesses or advertised the holiday and participating retailers on their official websites.

Are you a shopper planning on getting a jump start on holiday shopping or a retailer participating in Small Business Saturday? Share your plans and support on social media, making sure to use #ShopSmall and #SmallBizSat.

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