Move Over, Black Friday, there’s a new shopping day tradition in town. While Black Friday benefits larger corporate stores, Small Business Saturday allows for a much less chaotic shopping journey. In 2010, American Express declared the Saturday after Thanksgiving Day “Small Business Saturday” in an attempt to encourage shoppers to support small businesses in their local communities.
Every year, families across the nation sit around a table and give thanks for everything they’re grateful for. As soon as Thanksgiving dinner is over, though, many people’s thoughts shift from giving thanks to shopping. At midnight, Black Friday begins – the biggest shopping day of the year. Recently, Black Friday shopping has become even more of a frenzy than in years past. Stores have declared Thanksgiving night the start of Black Friday and there have been countless war stories about Black Friday shoppers escalating shopping arguments into physical fights that need to be broken up by the police. Despite this mayhem, there are victory stories of shoppers who take advantage of the day’s sales and get almost all, if not all, of their holiday shopping finished.
Now that small businesses have their own day to shine, they don’t dread Black Friday and its ability to bring in millions of shoppers. With Small Business Saturday in its fifth year, more small businesses are opening their doors to the new annual tradition and more shoppers are eating up the special deals.
The idea of Small Business Saturday came from the American Express OPEN team, AmEx’s small businesses service, who were looking to support their customers that were struggling to build customer relationships after the recession. AmEx OPEN’s Vice President Allison Silver says, “This was – and still is – more than a marketing campaign for AmEx. It’s AmEx telling people about the importance of small business and giving small businesses the tools to do the same to encourage everyone – customers, corporations and government – to help small businesses because doing so helps the economy.”
With over 3 million likes on Facebook and countless uses of the #SmallBusinessSaturday hashtag, this day was at the forefront of both business owner’s and consumer’s minds. The goal of Small Business Saturday is to not only support local businesses, but also to help local communities. Because of the increase of these small business sales, tax revenue for the local community increases, as well as the support of local jobs.
The National Federation of Independent Business and American Express reported that this year was the most successful Small Business Saturday since the shopping holiday’s creation five years ago. In their Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, they revealed that 88 million consumers shopped at local businesses, a 14.9 percent increase from last year. In total, $14.3 billion was spent at small businesses and independently owned restaurants that day, an increase of 2.1 percent from last year.
More consumers are finding out about Small Business Saturday every year as more shops take part in the day’s deals and sales. This year, 832 companies signed up to be official supporters of AmEx’s initiative, with even more stores recognizing the day nationwide. Because of the mass increase of storeowners celebrating Small Business Saturday, more than 67 percent of Americans are now aware of the tradition and those numbers are expected to continue to increase. Now, local communities will be well supported by consumers on that Saturday after Thanksgiving every year, as more and more shoppers make their way out to locally owned stores.
Emily Brensinger | Bravo Group | Wayne InternPhoto Credit:
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