Shop Small; Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday: Why You Need to Be a Part of It

Mark your calendars! November 26th is Small Business Saturday® 2016! This annual event created by American Express has helped bring communities together and supported small businesses nationwide since 2010. Make this the most successful Small Business Saturday event for your business by planning your marketing strategy in advance.

What Is Small Business Saturday?

American Express developed Small Business Saturday in 2010 to support small businesses that are so critical to the U.S. economy and the fabric of the nation. According to the Small Business Association, 28 million small businesses nationwide are responsible for 54% of U.S. sales revenue. They also have a huge impact on commercial real estate and represent 30% to 50% of all commercial space nationwide. And small businesses have thrived despite the economic depression, growing 49% since 1982. Add in the more than 600,000 franchised small businesses, and you’ll also see the source of 40% of all retail sales.

Small Business Saturday has succeeded even while sandwiched between two of the biggest holiday retail days of the year (i.e., Black Friday and Cyber Monday). In 2015, the number of consumers that shopped small grew a healthy 8% from 2014.

Why It Matters: People Want to Shop Small

Of course, this national event isn’t just about making money. In the midst of what might  be the most consumeristic time of year, Small Business Saturday highlights and emphasizes something more than spending money. It brings community into focus, too, and gives small businesses a chance to acknowledge the role they play within them. Increasingly aware consumers are choosing to shop small for those same reasons.

Small Business Saturday Supports the Community

Small businesses provide jobs within the community and the country, whereas larger businesses can end up creating jobs outside of it. Supporting small businesses helps strengthen this impact. It’s worth noting the job growth isn’t insignificant either. Franchised small businesses alone support roughly 8 million American jobs. Small businesses in general are responsible for 55% of all jobs. In fact, they’re responsible for 66% of all net new jobs since 1970.

Shopping Small Creates Community Revenue

Small business supports the economy with more than just jobs. Of all purchases made at local, independent small businesses, nearly half will be recirculated locally (48%). That includes pertinent taxes, which automatically go into strengthening the community’s public services and governance. This alone is enough to explain why elected representatives from all 50 states gave vocal support to the retail holiday.

Small Business Saturday Creates Community Involvement

Local businesses are more likely than other businesses to act as community hubs for all kinds of events, from small open-mic nights to fundraisers and sponsorships for different community groups. What’s more, being local also means being plugged in to the needs of the community and having a better understanding of the causes citizens care about most. That means small businesses are in a better position to support causes more meaningfully, even if they can’t write a check as large as one from a big box corporation.

Participation in Small Business Saturday can be a boon to your business, not only because of what it offers you financially, but how it can connect your business with the community. The most important thing you can do is start preparing your business and marketing strategies for Small Business Saturday 2016 right now.

Preparing for Small Business Saturday

There is a lot you can do to make Small Business Saturday a huge success for your business, from social media activities to in-store events and community involvement. Below are some tips to get your planning started:

  • Check out the many resources available to help promote your business on and Merchant Marketing Corner
  • Follow Valpak and Small Business Saturday® on Facebook
  • Follow  Valpak and Shop Small on Social Media
  • Update your business information on the Shop Small Map
  • Identify daily goals and build your marketing campaign strategy around it
    • Ensure your marketing campaign includes digital, paid advertising and social media
    • Be sure you have the supplies, inventory and staff to accomplish your goal
  • Tap into the marketing resources and promotion ideas at your disposal
    • Check out examples on the Small Business Association page
      • Host a customer appreciation or open house celebration
      • Pass out fliers to customers weeks ahead to create buzz
      • Promote a storewide discount for Small Business Saturday
      • Offer free product samples
      • Offer drinks and snacks
      • Conduct a prize drawing
  • Send your customers invitations to Shop Small on Small Business Saturday
    • Send email or direct mail postcards at least two weeks in advance
  • Contact your Valpak representative to learn more about the Shop Small® advertising options available to you.

Participation is Easy

Encourage more customers to Shop Small with you by leveraging the Shop Small branded marketing materials through our print and digital solutions.

From Shop Small themed coupon templates to an online business profile page, there are solutions to help enhance your plans for Small Business Saturday and reach the right audience while inviting them to shop and spend with you by presenting a strong offer.

Don’t forget to visit the Shop Small Studio to create customized marketing tools and access tips and resources that can help attract more customers to your business on Nov. 26.


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