The first Small Business Saturday began in 2010, in the midst of a tough recession. American Express declared the Saturday after Thanksgiving a day to direct our spending towards small local businesses. In 2011, the US Senate unanimously passed a resolution supporting and recognizing Small Business Saturday.
Plenty of customers have embraced the day over the years. In 2019, Small Business Saturday brought in an estimated $19.6 billion to small, local businesses. That’s a good thing, because for every dollar spent at a local business, 67 cents stays in the local community.
This year, with COVID-19 touching every aspect of our lives, Small Business Saturday may look a little different, but it’s more important than ever. Here’s what you can do to help local businesses.
Shop Online, Locally
Many, many small businesses updated their online shops when COVID-19 hit. Some realized the importance of going online very quickly. As a result some of your favorite spots now offer online ordering — either with curbside pick-up or local shipping options. If you’re already shopping online at the big sites, take a few minutes to virtually stroll through these small business sites, too. You’ll usually find something unique and fun, and you’ll be helping a local business owner and their family at the same time.
Buy Gift Cards
Love a store but don’t know what to buy as a gift? Has your favorite shop closed temporarily because of COVID-19? Find out if you can buy a gift card from them. The small business gets an immediate infusion of much-needed cash, and you (or the recipient of the gift certificate) will get the chance to shop later. Not only will that bring traffic into their business later, many people spend more than the value of the gift card, so the small business benefits from additional sales later, too.
Share Your Favorite Shops on Social Media
There’s only so much money you can spend at one store, but there’s more you can do to help a small business. Share their site or one of their online sales on your Facebook feed. Tag friends on the business’s Instagram posts with a “Hey, you should check this store out, they’re great” kind of message. Anything you can do to let more people know about the small businesses you love, the more you help that business. Small businesses thrive on word-of-mouth, and Small Business Saturday is a great time to encourage your friends and family to shop small and local.
The backbone of our country is made up of small businesses, many of which are family-owned. With shutdowns, safety precautions, and fewer people out shopping, local businesses suffer — which means the owner, employees, and their families suffer, too. When you shop for Christmas presents and holiday items this year, participate in Small Business Saturday to find unique gifts and help support local businesses at the same time.
Here at Charlotte Insurance, we’re a small business and appreciate your support, but we are also very proud to work with and support many small, local businesses as well.