Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday

Now in its 6th year, Small Business Saturday (started by American Express) has sparked a social movement to #ShopSmall and #ShopLocal for the holiday season. In 2011 even the US Senate got on board to support the movement and now it is affecting real and lasting change on consumer shopping behavior.

Here are some highlights according to the Amex website:

• In 2012 73.9 million consumers shopped small on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday
• Nationwide, over 1450 Neighborhood Champions helped rally their communities
• Last year, it grew to a record high $14.3 billion spent at small business on that day

This year, it promises to break even more records as consumer awareness of the effects of keeping money in local communities continues to grow.

Consider this: According to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance for every $100 spent at a national chain store outlet in your neighborhood, $14 stays in the community; but that same $100 spent at a small business in your neighborhood contributes $48 to the community – that’s a 71% increase and the difference can often mean the availability of funding for everything from the library to the parks to the schools in your community, and it has profound effects on employment, taxes and real estate values. (#ShiftYourShopping) is a national grassroots organization that ‘encourages residents to take job creation and economic concerns into their own hands by strengthening their own local economies’ and it provides forums with ideas and feedback for local business owners to share. Go there to get inspired for ideas to help your small business.

For even more resources to help you make the most of Small Business Saturday this year, check out AMIBA – the American Independent Business Alliance. Another nationwide supporter of local and independent businesses nationwide.

Then listen to this month’s episode of Show Us Your Business, a podcast dedicated to all things small business, of which I am the co-creator and co-host along with Cliff Ennico. Have a listen at (you’ll hear AMIBA’s PSA too!), then tell us what you think.

This year, as you do your holiday shopping, remember that November 29th is Small Business Saturday and shifting as little as 10% of your spending to a local, small business can make a tremendous difference in your community.

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Randye Spina is Chief Solutions Officer of Affordable Marketing Solutions LLC, a small business marketing consultancy serving the needs of small and micro businesses nationwide.