All Articles Tagged "small business saturday"
The holiday season for most small business owners is fraught with ups and downs. Competing against big-box companies is never easy to do and at times a small business can get lost in the shuffle. How are you supposed to gain customer attention when mega-retailers are throwing discounts, promotions, and shopper incentives around like candy?
While small businesses can’t offer the same vast array of products at rock-bottom prices as the larger shops, local stores can hone their unique edge – an intimate and personalized shopping experience and outstanding customer service, for one. Helping business owners convey the differences meant to capture customer attention is American Express.
Enter Small Business Saturday, a program started in 2010 and set for the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Predictably, this day is becoming a marketing event in line with Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In 2012, consumers who were aware of the event spent $5.5 billion at independent merchants, according to the National Federation of independent Business and American Express ( via The Dallas News). And although sales at privately held retailers have been dismal this year (at a nearly two percent drop, according to financial firm Sageworks) retailers remain hopeful that they will experience a nice bump during this special day.
Through Small Business Saturday, Amex has begun to generate buzz around the idea of supporting independent and locally-owned businesses. On this Amex site, readers are encouraged to go out on Saturday, November 30th, and embrace their community treasures. While on the Shop Small Neighborhoods site consumers can “Be a neighborhood champion,” by joining a neighborhood circle to connect with local small business owners, or fellow neighborhood champions, and share ideas and prepare for the big day with an online group. Amex has given consumers an added incentive to shop small at a qualifying small business location, by giving shoppers $10 back when they spend $10 or more. The Small Business Saturday map makes it that much easier for anyone to locate qualifying businesses in their area.
For business owners, Amex has created a streamlined process to join in and get access to personalized marketing materials for free. By telling them what your business is known for (through the creation of a marketing campaign) you are given the opportunity to be featured on the Shop Small Neighborhoods page. Some other marketing materials include: a digital banner, to promote your business online; printable signage, like decals to display in your business; and suggested social media and email templates, email and social posts to help you get the word out. Additionally, with the help of Amex’s 2013 four premier partners (Twitter, U.S. Postal Service, FedEx Office, and Foursquare), business owners receive benefits from special offers and services. For example Twitter is offering $100 in ad credits to help small businesses get the word out for Small Business Saturday this year.
Get in on the action! Shop local, get money back, feel good, repeat.
According to American Express, Small Business Saturday is a day dedicated to supporting the endeavors of small businesses. Founded in 2010 by the credit card giant, Small Business Saturday occurs the Saturday after each Thanksgiving. Small businesses and entrepreneurship are the cornerstone to our society as even the smallest of dreams can turn into something extraordinary. How many times have we heard stories about a mom and pop shop hitting it big, eventually launching multiple locations and even branching out to franchise opportunities?
Regardless how big or small a business gets, it’s important to support their endeavors as our commerce gives them a chance to succeed. Here are the benefits of Small Business Saturday. Hopefully you will allocate some of your Black Friday and Cyber Monday dollars to the little guy.
With the nation’s sentiment turning somewhat sour about Black Friday (many complained that store openings on Thanksgiving night intruded on the family gatherings for both shoppers and workers) the time was right this year for Small Business Saturday. Add to that the focus on small businesses — supporting them was a big talking point during the presidential election — and you have buzz for the day unlike any that’s likely been experienced in the past.
New York’s Mayor Bloomberg announced today that a matching grant program worth $5.5 million will be available for small businesses impacted by Hurricane Sandy. A total of more than $45 million in loans and other financial assistance will also help.
President Barack Obama and the rest of the White House has been crowing about Small Business Saturday on Twitter today. The President and the First Daughters Sasha and Malia were out shopping today at a local Arlington bookstore (he bought 15 children’s books, according to Reuters) to support the day.
And American Express — which founded Small Business Saturday in 2010 — and Small Business Administration Administrator Karen Mills were on the Today show yesterday talking up the opportunity to shop at local businesses. (Video below.)
Widely reported numbers say that small businesses created two out of three jobs in this country over the past 20 years. American Express founded the day three years ago and says more than 100 million people came out last year.
For black businesses, Small Business Saturday could be just the thing to jump start businesses. Pointing out the many difficulty that black retailers have — from the troubles with financing, lack of a strong network, or old-fashioned racism — The Huffington Post’s Jessica Cumberbatch Anderson talks with entrepreneurs who are trying to capitalize on the special day and all of the digital avenues available to small business owners nowadays.
“It drives traffic both to our Internet business and to our brick-and-mortar business,” Jamyla Bennu, owner of Baltimore’s Oyin Handmade, told the website.
The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in the black community (“the number of black-owned businesses in the U.S. increasing by 60.5 percent between 2002 and 2007,” HuffPo quotes the Census Bureau’s latest Survey of Business Owners), but the means to get businesses off the ground or stay afloat aren’t always there.
The Grio provides a list of small black-owned businesses that you can try out for Small Business Saturday and beyond. Did you shop at a black-owned business today?
(DNAinfo) — Customers of Make My Cake know that they can satisfy their cravings for sweet potato cheesecake, coconut pecan cookies and red velvet cake at virtually any hour. “I don’t post my hours. We close when we close. My clients know that,” said Make My Cake co-owner Aliyyah Baylor. She isn’t joking. There are no hours to be found on the front door of the bakery and cafe at 116th Street and St. Nicholas Ave, one of two locations in Harlem. Make My Cake is known for their super moist cake and lush frosting, and it’s not unusual for Baylor to get last-minute pleas for sweets on her cell phone. To accommodate those last minute customers, Baylor was open on Thanksgiving.
(USA Today) — Thanksgiving weekend is traditionally the kickoff of the holiday gift buying season, and it’s vitally important to retailers. Most Americans, of course, head off to giant stores. But this year, American Express has launched an initiative encouraging Americans to spend some of their holiday dollars in small, local stores. They’ve declared the Saturday after Thanksgiving “Small Business Saturday.” Even though this originates as a corporate initiative, “Small Business Saturday” is a great idea. By choosing a day in the most-important shopping weekend and giving it a specific name — Small Business Saturday — American Express is hoping this will catch on the same way as Black Friday for giant sales and Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving, for sales online.