In just a few short weeks, the successful #SmallBusinessSaturday event will take place on November 26, 2016. As always, it falls on Thanksgiving Weekend to follow Black Friday. Now in its 7th 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.

Small Business SaturdayDon’t go it alone, here are some tips & tools you can implement now to promote the big shopping day:

  1. Go to the American Express site where you’ll find an Event Inspiration idea package along with downloadable logos to use digitally & in print.
  2. If you’re an American Express merchant, you can request lots of swag to use such as signage, tote bags, promotional content, plus more.
  3. Start promoting it in your own email blasts, website, storefront, your email signature, outgoing phone message, etc.
  4. Follow, then help promote the event on social media using #ShopSmall, #ShopLocal, #SmallBusinessSaturday, and #ShiftYourShopping to name just a few.
  5. Connect with the sponsors on Facebook at:
  6. Check out AMIBA – the American Independent Business Alliance. Another nationwide supporter of local and independent businesses that offers research, resources, & ready-to-use graphics.
  7. Be ready for a long & profitable day. Consider hiring help if you have a retail store or other customer-facing staff to handle increased traffic.
    Consider this: According to the 2015 Institute for Local Self-Reliance impact report, 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.

This year, it promises to break even more records as consumer awareness of the effects of keeping money in local communities continues to grow.
And of course, as you do your holiday shopping, remember that November 26th 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.