Thanksgiving is just around the corner and after the turkey, and a nap, then some leftovers, comes the shopping.
First and foremost is Black Friday, the day after the holiday when sales are plentiful and shoppers wait in line to get in to the stores that cover acres.
But the next day is also important and that’s Small Business Saturday, an event created by American Express to celebrate what those businesses mean to communities both large and small.
Started in 2010, Small Business Saturday is, “to show our collective support of small, independent businesses and call attention to the valuable and distinct contributions they make to their communities and the economy,” a press release from American Express said. “With the retail landscape evolving, it’s more important than ever to back the small businesses that are vital to creating thriving communities.”
The emphasis seems to have worked.
The Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey said that in 2018, consumers in the United States spent $17.8 billion in “at independent retailers and restaurants.”
And since the start in 2010, consumers have spent an estimated $103 billion on Small Business Saturday, in figures released by American Express.
The key is, says the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center (ASBTDC), is to “shop small” and “dine small.” The organization is designated as the “neighborhood champion” for the state and is working to raise awareness in communities and rallying small businesses to participate in the program.
Some of that awareness is hashtags like #ShopSmall and #SmallBizSat on social media or reaching out to media organizations.
Sydney Rebstock, with the ASBTDC’s office at Arkansas State University, offered up tips for things small businesses could do from being more active on social media to having extended hours with special giveaways on the day of in between.
Rebstock said small business owners should “take advantage of the free marketing tools that American Express offers” for the day, while having a later close time on that Saturday would also be effective.
“Do you typically close at 5 p.m. (or earlier) on Saturdays?,” Rebstock asked. “Why not stay open until 6 or 7 to bring more foot traffic to your business?”
The tips from American Express can be found here.
Local organizations designated as “neighborhood champions include:
- Argenta Downtown Council, North Little Rock
- Arkadelphia Area Chamber Of Commerce
- Beebe Chamber Of Commerce
- Booneville Chamber Of Commerce
- Eureka Springs City Advertising & Promotion Commission
- Charleston Public Library
- Clarksville – Johnson County Chamber Of Commerce
- Conway Area Chamber Of Commerce
- Conway Downtown Partnership
- Dardanelle Area Chamber Of Commerce
- Elkins-Area Business Networking Group
- Go Downtown Rogers
- Greenbrier Chamber Of Commerce
- Heart Of Eureka, Eureka Springs,
- Jacksonville Chamber Of Commerce
- Little Rock Regional Chamber
- Magnolia-Columbia County Chamber Of Commerce
- Main Street Batesville
- Main Street Blytheville
- Main Street El Dorado
- Main Street El Dorado
- Main Street Eureka Springs
- Main Street Morrilton
- Main Street Ozark
- Main Street Paragould
- Main Street Russellville
- Main Street West Memphis
- Malvern-Hot Spring County Library
- Maumelle Area Chamber Of Commerce
- Mena Downtown Partners
- Old Town Van Buren
- Paris Area Chamber Of Commerce
- Rogers Downtown Partners
- Siloam Springs Chamber Of Commerce
- Soma 501 Little Rock
- Spring River Area Chamber Of Commerce
More information on each organization can be found here.