BY TARYN JEREZ
If ever there was a year to show up big for small businesses, this is it! After surviving the economic impact of a continuing global pandemic, Small Business Saturday gives a beautiful reminder that these businesses are still here serving their communities and are worthy of support. This year, November 28th will be the tenth anniversary of American Express first founding Small Business Saturday, a day dedicated to supporting small businesses and communities across the country.
Let’s dive into five different ways you can show up to support small businesses this year and make a difference!
#1 Support with Your Money by Spending Instore and Online
Whether you are all set to put your walking shoes on to hit the streets or have that “add to cart” trigger finger ready, every dollar you spend with a small business this holiday season will make a larger impact than you might realize. Small Business Saturday is infamous for business owners using their creativity to make the day feel extra special by implementing activities and offering promotions and giveaways instore and online. If you’ll be shopping in-person, make a whole day of it! On November 28th, start your Saturday off with a trip to your favorite local coffeehouse, enjoy some great shopping, and order from a mom and pop restaurant for each meal! Deciding to stick to e-commerce? Check out some new websites you’ve been wanting to explore. Remember, many small businesses who hadn’t offered online shopping before made the switch during this pandemic!
#2 Support with Your Voice by Showing Up on Social Media
Did you know that word of mouth marketing is one of the best ways for a small business to grow? Social media helps take that word of mouth and spread it like wildfire to your friends and family. Take time to share the link to a favorite small business or repost the sale you saw their website hosting. Don’t forget when you share photos of your purchases or shopping festivities to tag the small businesses you helped support so more people can learn about them. If you had a truly great experience, you can like their Facebook page or follow them on Instagram to make sure you see what else they have to offer throughout the year. It may seem silly to some, but social media makes a huge difference for small businesses, especially as a way of free marketing!
#3 Support with Your Heart by Choosing Diverse Businesses
As the world continues to work through and recover from the pandemic, minority-owned businesses have been hit hard and disproportionately affected. Your spending power has the opportunity to increase sales, spread awareness, and give support to businesses that need and value it most. As you put together your shopping list compiling all your wants and needs for Small Business Saturday, take a little time to research the businesses in your community and online before you shop. American Express has even added resources to their ‘shop small’ webpage to provide resources for shoppers looking to support black-owned businesses this year! Make a conscious decision to show up and support minority and LGBTQ businesses that may not otherwise have been on your radar this year and find some awesome new favorite shops, restaurants, service providers, and more!
#4 Support with Your Opinion by Providing Referrals and Reviews
A positive review means the world to a small business and is their way of showing potential customers what it’s really like to work with them or purchase from them. When you share your opinion about an interaction with local and small brands, there are so many benefits that can turn a random person into a customer. Reviews and referrals help point people to new businesses, build trust in them, and offer confidence in their purchasing decisions. You don’t have to wait until Small Business Saturday to leave a review for one of your favorite businesses! Take a few minutes today to proudly proclaim the great experience you had with them on their social media page, website, Google, or even Yelp if applicable. It will mean the world to them!
#5 Support with Your Resources by Creating Partnerships
Did you know that small businesses are owned and operated by moms and dads, teachers, kids, church members, and just about anyone else in your community that you can think of? (You did, of course, but it’s always a good reminder!) Get to know the people behind your favorite small business and learn what their needs are and how you may be able to help one another. As Small Business Saturday approaches, think about the people in your life or those you are closely connected to that own a business. Are there ways you can partner with them that may be mutually beneficial? Maybe you can create a fundraiser or curate a collaboration between your own place of work and their business?
And remember that November 28, 2020 is SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY!