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Small Business Saturday 2016: What Is It? Small Business Saturday 2016: What Is It?


Small Business Saturday 2016: What Is It?

Discover the significance of Small Business Saturday 2016 and its impact on the finance industry. Support local businesses and stimulate economic growth with this exciting initiative.

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Small Business Saturday is an annual shopping event that takes place on the Saturday after Thanksgiving in the United States. It was first observed in 2010 as a way to encourage consumers to support local small businesses and boost their sales during the holiday season. This initiative aims to celebrate and promote the importance of small businesses and their contributions to local communities and the economy.

While Black Friday and Cyber Monday dominate the retail landscape with their focus on big-box retailers and online shopping, Small Business Saturday provides a platform for smaller businesses to shine. It encourages consumers to explore the unique offerings of neighborhood shops, restaurants, and service providers, fostering a sense of community and connection.

The idea behind Small Business Saturday is to divert some of the consumer spending from larger corporations to smaller, independent businesses. By doing so, it helps create a more level playing field for these small enterprises, which often struggle to compete with larger counterparts throughout the year.

Since its inception, Small Business Saturday has gained substantial popularity and support across the nation. It presents an opportunity for consumers to make a positive impact on their local economy by shopping at small businesses and supporting the dreams and aspirations of entrepreneurs in their community.

In this article, we will delve into the history and purpose of Small Business Saturday, explore the benefits of supporting small businesses, provide guidance on how to participate, and showcase success stories from previous events. We will also offer valuable tips for consumers looking to make the most of Small Business Saturday and discover unique products and services in their local area.

Let’s uncover the significance of Small Business Saturday and how you can play a part in supporting and celebrating the small business community.


History of Small Business Saturday

The concept of Small Business Saturday was introduced by American Express in 2010. It emerged as a response to the economic downturn and the increasing dominance of big-box retailers and e-commerce giants. The first Small Business Saturday was held on November 27, 2010, and it quickly gained traction as a way to support local businesses.

Small Business Saturday was initially promoted through various marketing channels and collaborations with national and local organizations. American Express played a major role in its early success by offering cardholders incentives for shopping at small businesses on the designated day.

As the initiative gained momentum, it received widespread support from individuals, businesses, and government agencies across the country. Organizations such as the U.S. Small Business Administration, local Chambers of Commerce, and Main Street programs actively promoted Small Business Saturday to their networks, further boosting its reach and impact.

Over the years, Small Business Saturday has evolved beyond a single day event. It has grown into a movement that encourages consumers to support local businesses throughout the year. In 2011, the United States Senate officially recognized Small Business Saturday, and since then, it has been celebrated annually on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

The impact of Small Business Saturday goes beyond just a single day of shopping. It has become a catalyst for bringing attention to the importance of small businesses and the role they play in driving economic growth and fostering a sense of community.

Furthermore, the success of Small Business Saturday has inspired similar initiatives in other countries. For example, in the UK, Small Business Saturday was first held in 2013, following the American model. It has since become an annual event that supports and celebrates local businesses across the country.

Small Business Saturday continues to gain momentum each year, with more consumers recognizing the value of supporting small businesses. It has become an integral part of the holiday shopping season, providing an alternative to the chaos of Black Friday and the impersonality of online shopping.

As we explore the purpose and benefits of Small Business Saturday in the following sections, we will see why this event holds such significance for small business owners and local communities alike.


Purpose of Small Business Saturday

The primary purpose of Small Business Saturday is to raise awareness about the importance of supporting small businesses and to encourage consumers to shop locally. This annual event aims to highlight the vital role that small businesses play in driving economic growth, creating jobs, and fostering vibrant communities.

One of the key purposes of Small Business Saturday is to promote the idea of “shopping small.” Small businesses often face significant challenges in competing with larger corporations that have greater financial resources and marketing reach. By dedicating a specific day to focus on small businesses, the event aims to level the playing field and provide these enterprises with increased visibility and customer support.

Small businesses are the backbone of local economies. They contribute to job creation, entrepreneurship, and innovation. When consumers choose to shop at small businesses, they are effectively investing in their own communities, as a significant portion of the revenue generated by local businesses stays within the local economy.

Another important purpose of Small Business Saturday is to help small businesses thrive during the holiday season. The period from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day is often a make-or-break time for many small businesses. By promoting Small Business Saturday and encouraging consumers to shop locally, the event helps small businesses increase sales and sustain their operations.

Small Business Saturday also promotes the concept of unique shopping experiences. Many small businesses offer products and services that are distinct and cannot be found in large retail chains. By encouraging consumers to explore local shops, restaurants, and service providers, Small Business Saturday emphasizes the benefits of discovering one-of-a-kind products and supporting the creativity and passion of local entrepreneurs.

Furthermore, Small Business Saturday fosters a sense of community. Shopping at small businesses provides an opportunity for face-to-face interactions with business owners and employees, creating a personal connection between consumers and the local economy. By supporting small businesses, consumers not only contribute to the local economy but also help strengthen the social fabric of their communities.

Overall, the purpose of Small Business Saturday is to remind consumers of the importance of small businesses, celebrate their contributions, and encourage individuals to make a conscious effort to support these enterprises. By doing so, Small Business Saturday helps to build a more sustainable and resilient economy, one small business at a time.


Benefits of Supporting Small Businesses

Supporting small businesses on Small Business Saturday and throughout the year is not only beneficial for the business owners themselves, but it also has a positive impact on the community and the economy as a whole. Here are some key benefits of supporting small businesses:

1. Boosting the Local Economy: When you shop at a small local business, a greater percentage of your money stays within the community compared to shopping at larger national chains. This supports the local economy by creating jobs, generating tax revenue, and fostering economic growth.

2. Preserving Local Character: Small businesses give a community its unique character and charm. By supporting these businesses, you help maintain the diverse array of local shops, restaurants, and service providers that contribute to the cultural fabric of your area.

3. Personalized Customer Service: Small business owners often take pride in providing top-notch customer service. With a smaller customer base, they have the opportunity to develop meaningful relationships with their customers and offer personalized assistance. This personalized touch can make your shopping experience more enjoyable and memorable.

4. Access to Unique Products and Services: Many small businesses specialize in niche products or services that may be hard to find elsewhere. By supporting these businesses, you gain access to a wide range of unique and innovative offerings that may not be available in larger chains.

5. Environmental Impact: Small businesses typically have a smaller environmental footprint compared to larger corporations. They often source their products locally, use sustainable practices, and contribute less to packaging waste and transportation emissions. By supporting small businesses, you contribute to a more sustainable and eco-friendly community.

6. Job Creation and Entrepreneurship: Small businesses are major contributors to job creation. When you support small businesses, you help create employment opportunities for your neighbors and friends, fostering economic stability and reducing unemployment rates in your community.

7. Community Support and Engagement: Small businesses are more likely to support local events, sponsor sports teams, and contribute to local charities. By supporting small businesses, you indirectly contribute to the betterment of the community and enhance its social fabric.

8. Competition and Innovation: Small businesses drive competition in the marketplace, which can lead to improved products and services. They often have more flexibility to experiment with new ideas and adapt to changing consumer needs, fostering innovation and creativity in the business landscape.

Supporting small businesses is not just a one-time act; it is an ongoing commitment that can have a lasting impact on your community. By choosing to shop small, you are making a conscious choice to invest in the success of entrepreneurs, nurture the local economy, and preserve the unique character of your neighborhood.


How to Participate in Small Business Saturday

Participating in Small Business Saturday is easy and can be a fun way to support local businesses and explore unique offerings in your community. Here are some ways you can get involved:

1. Spread the Word: Help create awareness about Small Business Saturday by sharing the event with your friends, family, and social media followers. Share posts and updates from local businesses, use the official Small Business Saturday hashtag, and encourage others to participate.

2. Plan Your Shopping Route: Take some time to research and identify the small businesses you want to support. Use online directories, local business associations, or the Small Business Saturday website to find a list of participating businesses in your area. Plan your shopping route to make the most efficient use of your time.

3. Create a Shopping List: Make a list of the products or services you need and prioritize the small businesses you want to visit. By having a clear plan, you can make the most of your shopping experience and ensure you don’t miss out on any limited-time offers or deals.

4. Shop In-person or Online: Small businesses may have physical storefronts, online shops, or a combination of both. Depending on your preferences and the offerings of the businesses you want to support, you can choose to shop in-person or online. Be sure to check if they offer curbside pickup, local delivery, or shipping options.

5. Explore Small Businesses Beyond Retail: Small businesses go beyond retail shops. Consider supporting local restaurants, cafes, artisans, fitness studios, or service providers. Small Business Saturday is an opportunity to experience the wide range of offerings in your community and try something new.

6. Engage with Business Owners: Strike up conversations with business owners and employees during your shopping experience. They can provide insights into their products, offer recommendations, and share their passion for what they do. Building connections with local entrepreneurs can enhance your overall experience and create a sense of community.

7. Leave Reviews and Feedback: Show your appreciation for small businesses by leaving positive reviews on their websites, social media platforms, or review websites. Reviews play a crucial role in helping small businesses establish credibility and attract new customers.

8. Continue to Support Small Businesses: Small Business Saturday is just one day, but the impact of supporting small businesses can be long-lasting. Make it a habit to prioritize shopping at local businesses throughout the year. Consider them for your everyday needs, special occasions, and gift-giving. Your consistent support can make a significant difference in the success of these enterprises.

Remember, the goal of Small Business Saturday is to celebrate and support small businesses. Whether you make a purchase, spread the word, or engage with business owners, your participation contributes to the collective effort of uplifting local economies and communities.


Promotional Strategies for Small Business Owners

Promoting your small business effectively is crucial for maximizing your success on Small Business Saturday and beyond. Here are some strategies that small business owners can consider implementing:

1. Create Eye-Catching Signage: Design appealing signage to catch the attention of passersby. Use vibrant colors, clear messaging, and attractive visuals to draw people into your establishment. Place signs strategically both inside and outside your business to guide customers and create a cohesive brand experience.

2. Offer Special Discounts and Promotions: Incentivize customers to choose your business by offering exclusive discounts, promotions, or package deals. Consider running limited-time offers or Small Business Saturday-specific discounts. Make sure the offers are prominently displayed and clearly communicated to customers.

3. Utilize Social Media: Leverage the power of social media platforms to promote your business and engage with your target audience. Create posts highlighting your Small Business Saturday offerings and encourage customers to share their experiences. Use relevant hashtags to expand your reach and collaborate with influencers or local bloggers to reach a wider audience.

4. Collaborate with Other Small Businesses: Partnering with other small businesses in your area can be mutually beneficial. Consider collaborating on joint promotions or cross-marketing initiatives. By working together, you can pool your resources, broaden your customer base, and create a sense of community.

5. Enhance Online Presence: Ensure your business has a user-friendly, mobile-responsive website that showcases your products or services. Optimize your website for search engines by incorporating relevant keywords and metadata. Leverage online directories, review platforms, and Google My Business to strengthen your online presence and promote positive reviews.

6. Implement Email Marketing: Build an email list of loyal customers and prospects who have expressed interest in your business. Send out personalized email campaigns leading up to Small Business Saturday, highlighting your offerings and exclusive promotions. Use compelling subject lines and visuals to capture attention and drive traffic to your store or website.

7. Decorate Your Space: Create a festive atmosphere in your store by decorating it with Small Business Saturday-themed decorations. Use balloons, banners, and window displays to showcase your participation in the event and attract attention. Consider offering complimentary refreshments or small giveaways to make your space more inviting.

8. Engage with Local Media: Pitch a story or press release to local newspapers, magazines, radio stations, or television networks about your participation in Small Business Saturday. Highlight your unique offerings, community involvement, or special promotions. Getting featured in local media can provide valuable exposure and generate buzz around your business.

9. Participate in Local Events: Take advantage of local community events or markets that may be organized in conjunction with Small Business Saturday. Set up a booth or participate in pop-up markets to showcase your products or services. Engage with potential customers, distribute promotional materials, and build relationships with other businesses and attendees.

10. Create a Loyalty Program: Establish a loyalty program to incentivize repeat business and build customer loyalty. Offer rewards, discounts, or exclusive perks to customers who frequently shop with you. Small Business Saturday can be an ideal time to launch or promote your loyalty program, encouraging customers to return long after the event.

Remember to tailor your promotional strategies to align with your target audience and business goals. By implementing these strategies effectively, you can enhance your visibility, attract new customers, and make the most of the opportunities that Small Business Saturday presents.


Success Stories from Previous Small Business Saturdays

Small Business Saturday has proven to be a successful and impactful event for countless small businesses across the country. Here are a few inspiring success stories from previous Small Business Saturdays:

1. Casey’s Boutique: Casey, the owner of a small fashion boutique, experienced a significant increase in foot traffic and sales on Small Business Saturday. She had prepared for the event by creating special promotions, offering personalized styling sessions, and collaborating with other local businesses for cross-promotion. As a result, Casey saw a 40% increase in sales compared to an average Saturday, and many of the new customers became loyal patrons.

2. The Cupcake Shop: The Cupcake Shop, a local bakery, participated in Small Business Saturday by offering a “buy one, get one free” promotion on their gourmet cupcakes. They leveraged social media to spread the word about their enticing offer and partnered with a nearby coffee shop to drive foot traffic to both establishments. The Cupcake Shop saw a surge in sales, with over 500 cupcakes sold, and gained numerous new customers who later returned for additional purchases.

3. Charlie’s Bookstore: Charlie, the owner of an independent bookstore, decided to focus on creating a memorable customer experience for Small Business Saturday. He organized a book signing event with a local author, offered personalized recommendations to customers, and had a small art showcase in the store. The thoughtful attention to detail and the unique atmosphere attracted book enthusiasts, resulting in a 30% increase in sales compared to the previous year’s Small Business Saturday.

4. The Neighborhood Cafe: The Neighborhood Cafe decided to participate in Small Business Saturday by offering a brunch special exclusive to that day. They promoted the event through their social media channels and engaged with the local community by hosting a live acoustic music performance. As a result, the cafe had a record-breaking number of customers, with a 50% increase in sales on Small Business Saturday.

5. Green Thumb Nursery: Green Thumb Nursery, a local gardening store, embraced the spirit of Small Business Saturday by hosting free gardening workshops throughout the day. They invited a garden expert to provide tips and advice to customers, creating a fun and educational experience. The workshops drew in a large crowd and sparked interest in gardening, leading to increased sales of plants, seeds, and gardening accessories.

These success stories demonstrate the positive outcomes that small businesses can achieve by participating in Small Business Saturday. By planning strategic promotions, creating engaging experiences, and reaching out to the local community, small business owners have the opportunity to significantly boost their sales, gain new customers, and strengthen their presence within the community.

These examples also highlight the importance of creativity, collaboration, and personalized customer service in attracting and retaining customers. Small businesses that go the extra mile to create a memorable experience on Small Business Saturday are likely to see long-term benefits as customers develop a connection with their brand and continue to support them beyond the event.

Remember, every small business is unique, and success stories may vary depending on industry, location, and target market. However, with careful planning and execution, Small Business Saturday can undoubtedly be a catalyst for growth and success for small businesses across the country.


Tips for Consumers on Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday provides an excellent opportunity for consumers to support local businesses and discover unique products and services in their community. Here are some valuable tips to make the most out of your Small Business Saturday experience:

1. Plan Ahead: Research the small businesses in your area and create a list of the ones you want to visit. Check their websites or social media pages for any special promotions or events taking place on Small Business Saturday.

2. Explore Different Neighborhoods: Take this opportunity to venture into neighborhoods you haven’t visited before. There may be hidden gems and small businesses waiting to be discovered. Use online directories or local maps to guide your exploration.

3. Shop with Intent: Consider the items you need or the services you’ve been wanting to try. Make a shopping list or note down specific gift ideas to help you stay focused and make purposeful purchases.

4. Engage with Small Business Owners: Strike up conversations with the business owners or staff members. They can provide valuable insights and recommendations about their products or services. Building a connection with them can enhance your shopping experience and leave a lasting impression.

5. Spread the Word: Share your Small Business Saturday experiences on social media using the official hashtags. Tag the small businesses you visit and write positive reviews to support and promote their brands.

6. Bring Friends and Family: Turn Small Business Saturday into a social outing by inviting friends or family members to join you. Shopping together can be a fun and memorable experience, and you can discover new businesses and products together.

7. Take Advantage of Special Offers: Small businesses often provide exclusive deals and discounts on Small Business Saturday. Be on the lookout for promotional flyers and signs to make the most of these limited-time offers.

8. Shop Beyond Retail: Small businesses go beyond just retail shops. Consider exploring local restaurants, coffee shops, art studios, and service providers. Small Business Saturday is an opportunity to experience the wide range of offerings your community has to offer.

9. Provide Feedback and Reviews: After your Small Business Saturday experience, take the time to leave reviews and provide feedback to the businesses you visited. Positive reviews can go a long way in helping small businesses build credibility and attract new customers.

10. Continue to Support Small Businesses: Small Business Saturday is not just a one-day event; it’s a reminder of the importance of supporting small businesses year-round. Make it a habit to prioritize small businesses for your everyday needs and special occasions, even after the event has ended.

By following these tips, you can make a positive impact on small businesses and contribute to the vibrancy of your local community. Small Business Saturday is an opportunity to support entrepreneurs, discover unique products, and foster a sense of connection with the businesses that make your neighborhood special.



Small Business Saturday serves as a powerful reminder of the significance of supporting small businesses in our communities. This annual event not only gives small business owners a platform to showcase their products and services but also provides consumers with an opportunity to make a positive impact on the local economy and community.

Throughout this article, we have explored the history and purpose of Small Business Saturday, delved into the benefits of supporting small businesses, provided tips for both consumers and business owners on how to participate in the event, and shared inspiring success stories from previous Small Business Saturdays.

By choosing to shop at small businesses, consumers can boost the local economy, preserve the character of their communities, receive personalized customer service, gain access to unique products and services, and contribute to a more sustainable environment. Small Business Saturday encourages consumers to shift their focus from big-box retailers and e-commerce giants to the smaller, independent establishments in their neighborhoods.

For small business owners, Small Business Saturday presents an opportunity to increase sales, attract new customers, and build lasting connections with their local community. By implementing strategic promotional strategies, engaging with customers, and providing memorable experiences, small businesses can thrive and compete in today’s competitive marketplace.

Whether you are a consumer or a small business owner, Small Business Saturday is a celebration of the entrepreneurial spirit, community engagement, and the power of conscious consumerism. It’s a day to recognize and support the dreams, aspirations, and hard work of local entrepreneurs who contribute to the vibrancy and vitality of our neighborhoods.

So, mark your calendars for the next Small Business Saturday, plan your route, support local establishments, and enjoy the unique offerings and experiences they have to offer. Together, we can make a difference and shape a more resilient and connected community.