Small Business Saturday is an annual event in the United States that encourages consumers to shop at small and local independent businesses. It takes place on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, during one of the busiest shopping periods of the year.
Who created Small Business Saturday?
The event was first observed in 2010 and was created and promoted by American Express as a counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which feature big box retail and e-commerce stores respectively.
American Express partnered with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Boston Mayor’s Office, and the Roslindale Village Main Street to launch the first Small Business Saturday in 2010. The event was a success, with consumers spending an estimated $5 billion at small businesses on that day.
In 2011, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution recognizing Small Business Saturday, and the event has grown in popularity each year since then. In 2022, consumers spent an estimated $17.9 billion at small businesses on Small Business Saturday.
Why Is Small Business Saturday Important?
The idea behind Small Business Saturday is to support local businesses that are often overshadowed during the holiday shopping season by large retailers. By encouraging consumers to shop locally, the event aims to boost the local economy and celebrate the diversity and uniqueness of small businesses.
It has grown in popularity over the years, with many communities and local organizations actively promoting the day. Small businesses often offer special deals and events to attract customers on this day.
The event has also gained support from various political figures and organizations, recognizing the vital role small businesses play in the economy and in local communities. Small Business Saturday has become a significant part of the holiday shopping tradition in the U.S., highlighting the importance of supporting local businesses and the positive impact it has on communities.
Why should you celebrate Small Business Saturday?
- Support the Local Economy: Shopping at local small businesses helps to keep money within your community, supporting local economies. This can be particularly meaningful if you value economic sustainability and community development.
- Celebrate Community Character: Small businesses often add unique character and charm to a neighborhood or city. By participating in Small Business Saturday, you might feel a sense of pride and connection to the distinctiveness of your community.
- Build Relationships: Small businesses often offer a more personal shopping experience. You might appreciate the opportunity to build relationships with local business owners and become a part of a tight-knit community.
- Discover Unique Products and Services: Small businesses often provide unique, handcrafted, or specialized products and services that you can’t find in larger retail stores. This can be a day to discover and enjoy these unique offerings.
- Job Creation: Small businesses are significant job creators. By supporting them, you’re helping to sustain and create jobs in your community, which can be a fulfilling aspect of participating in Small Business Saturday.
- Environmental Impact: Shopping locally can also mean a smaller carbon footprint compared to shopping at large, distant retailers. If environmental concerns are important to you, this can be a meaningful aspect.
- Empower Entrepreneurship: Supporting small businesses means supporting entrepreneurs who have taken the risk to start their own business. This can be especially meaningful if you value entrepreneurship and innovation.
- Advocacy and Awareness: Participating in Small Business Saturday can also be a way of advocating for small businesses and raising awareness about the challenges they face, especially in an economy dominated by large corporations.
- Tradition and Celebration: For some, Small Business Saturday might have become a cherished tradition, a day to celebrate with family and friends while enjoying the local shops and eateries.
Here at Finli, we’re so proud to support the small business community year round. If you know any small business owners struggling to manage their back office, we’d love to be of assistance. Created especially for SMBs, our accounting system is easy to use, versatile, full of features and costs only $39/month. Give it a try.