Small businesses are a crucial piece of our community, and with Small Businesses Saturday just a few days away, we wanted to talk about the importance of the event and supporting small businesses. It goes without saying that local businesses have been adversely affected by the pandemic. Many have experienced significant revenue loss due to closures and restrictions that impact how they operate their business.
While the holiday shopping season may look a little different this year, it’s more important than ever that we shop local. It was recently revealed that “62% of U.S. small businesses reported that they need to see consumer spending return to pre-COVID levels by the end of 2020 to stay in business.” Every purchase we make now and in the future helps local businesses keep their doors open and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
What is Small Business Saturday?
Small Business Saturday is an annual, one-day event that takes place between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This year, the campaign falls on November 28th. American Express created the event in 2010 as a way to encourage consumers to “shop small and bring more holiday shopping to small businesses” during the Great Recession. The following year, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution supporting Small Business Saturday, making it a nation-wide campaign.
How Small Business Saturday Benefits Locally-Owned Businesses
In years past, Small Business Saturday has been an effective way to boost small business revenue during the holiday shopping season. Last year alone, an estimated 110 million consumers spent $19.6 billion during the event, which “outstrips the $5.4 billion spent on Black Friday and the $9.2 billion spent on Cyber Monday over that same weekend.”
However, the advantages of Small Business Saturday aren’t exclusive to business owners. The campaign also benefits the community as a whole. Spending where you live keeps more money in the community, where it’s reinvested in city infrastructure, schools, and people. This fact is one that Amy King, owner of The Market, finds especially rewarding. “We love having people support our and others’ local businesses because it allows us to give back to the community and reward our city,” she says.
“During this pandemic, it is truly important to check local businesses first. Not only to help stop the spread from community to community but by keeping dollars in town … Online and big box CEOs don’t help sponsor or support local charities, functions, schools, etc. By supporting new and established [area] businesses, you help nurture their commitment to the community. If we want to keep our community viable, thriving, and growing, we need to support one another.”
How to Participate in Small Business Saturday
Taking part in Small Business Saturday is simple; all you have to do is shop locally and encourage friends and family to do the same. Take advantage of special promotions and make a purchase from your favorite local retailer in-store or online, dine at or order takeout from your favorite restaurant, or buy gift cards to use later at a service-based business. When you shop local now through December 25th you also have a chance to win Fergus Bucks from the Fergus Falls Area Chamber of Commerce.
In light of restrictions put in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19, many retailers are offering multiple ways to shop. For example, The Market is taking phone orders and offering curbside delivery in addition to shopping in person and online. If you do choose to shop in person, be sure to check store hours, wear a mask, and follow social distancing guidelines.
Although its purpose is to increase sales, supporting area businesses during the event doesn’t only mean making a purchase. Understandably, the coronavirus pandemic has left many of us on a tighter budget than in previous years. That said, there are plenty of non-monetary ways to partake in and promote Small Business Saturday, such as:
Writing an online review
Making a word-of-mouth referral
Engaging on social media
Signing up for an email newsletter
Sending a note of encouragement
Use their promotional products (pens, t-shirts, coffee mugs, etc.)
However you choose to participate in Small Business Saturday, the important thing is that you do. Shopping local matters — not just during Small Business Saturday, but every day. Fergus Falls is home to a diverse range of unique businesses, and we encourage you to explore everything they have to offer. For ideas on where to start, follow our #ShopLocal campaign on Facebook featuring area businesses.
Have a question about Small Business or how you can support our business community? Get in touch with our team.