In recent years, the Saturday after Thanksgiving has become known as Small Business Saturday – the one day each year when American consumers are encouraged to ditch the big box stores, go off-line, and support their local small businesses.
Started as a promotional event by a not-so-small credit card company, Small Business Saturday has grown into something of a movement with an estimated 95 million Americans shopping at small businesses on the first Saturday after Thanksgiving last year.
And why not? Small businesses represent a major part of the American economy. Nearly 29 million small businesses employ over 58 million people – almost half of all private sector employment.
In fact, 60% of net new jobs created since the Great Recession have come from businesses with fewer than 500 employees.
If you still need a reason why you should ditch the big box retailers this weekend and target your favorite small businesses, here are 10:
1. They have products, service and expertise you just don’t get anywhere else. Only small, local businesses can take care of you the way you know you deserve to be taken care of.
2. Support the local economy. According to some studies up to 68% of the money you spend in a local, small business stays in the community.
3. Profits go into the pocket of a local mom or pop, not a corporate CEO. At many small businesses you are doing business directly with the owner. Why not give them your money rather than a big corporation based in another state – or country?
4. You actually want to enjoy your shopping experience.
5. You can bring the in-laws with. Or not. Whatever works for you.
6. You’re all stocked up on 50” plasma TVs. A typical American household has 3 TVs. How many do you really need?
7. You’re hungry. Or thirsty. Restaurants and coffee shops count. So do breweries, wine shops and your favorite sushi bar. Why not start your day with a latte or treat a friend to a Bento box for lunch? Might as well pick up some holiday beverages from your favorite local brewery or neighborhood wine shop while you are at it.
8. You’re really not up for tent camping in a Walmart parking lot Thursday night. Mark my words: news stories on Friday will report about people camping out or standing in line overnight just to be trampled by their fellow shoppers when the store opens the next morning.
9. It will take two days for your L-tryptophan induced haze to wear off and you wont wake up until Saturday anyway. Thursday is a holiday. (Hopefully) most stores will be closed. Friday all retail heck breaks loose. Why not take the day off and sleep in on Friday or go to the movies?
10. You’re tired of seeing your favorite local go-to places go under. We’ve all see our favorite local gift shop, bookseller or kitschy NE Polish polka bar close their doors. The only way to keep them open is to give them your business.
I have a hunch that nearly every has one worked for a small business at some point in their lives. Even if you don’t work for a small business now, odds are that the business you do work for was a small business at one point in time.
If not for a small entrepreneur willing to take a chance on you, you probably wouldn’t be where you are today.
I know that’s true for me.
Why not support your favorite small businesses this Saturday?
If you need some new ideas or are looking for something different, check out my list of faves below.
- Stinson Wine, Beer, and Spirits
- Forest Lake Pets
- Hammer Made
- Lake Country Booksellers
- Hummingbird Floral
- Anything on Grand Avenue
- The Galleria
- India Palace
- Art galleries of NE Mpls
- Woodchuck USA
- Right Fit Running
- Bob Mitchell’s Fly Shop