Holiday shopping is fast approaching, and with it the anticipation of big, Black Friday sales. But what about the day after Black Friday? It's not just for digging into the last of Thanksgiving's leftovers, but a day to shop small.
Seven years ago, American Express® launched the first Small Business Saturday. The day was officially recognized by the U.S. Senate in 2011, and is now a widely known event, drawing in millions of customers to local businesses throughout America. As a credit union that was founded on the very principle of helping one another, BECU applauds American Express for launching such a worthy endeavor.
In fact, the BECU business members who have participated have found it to be a great success: “Last year, it was the busiest day of the year,” says BECU Business Member Jen R., the owner of A Little Knitty. Jen networked with fellow small-business owners in her area, teaming up to offer discounts at each business and cross-promoting each other's shop.
We reached out to BECU Business Members and got even more advice to share with businesses considering participating.
“Plan ahead,” says Jenna P., a co-owner of Blossom Baby in Silverdale. Jenna cautions that free swag offered by American Express can take a while to appear. Their shop has found additional success in offering a giveaway on the day, and getting the word out well in advance.
“Get going on social,” agrees Linda T., the owner of Lulumiére, a hand-poured soy candle business. Linda holds court with other small businesses, selling at a local event held in the Lynnwood High School gymnasium.
A great place to start? Register at the Shop Small page, and share your experience online using #ShopSmall.
While most businesses are open on Saturdays regardless of the shopping holiday, be on the lookout for storefronts offering Small Business Saturday events, specials and giveaways. You can find participating businesses on social, by checking your email or looking at this map.
Don't discount small businesses that aren't traditional retail, either. “We're going to try it,” says Kent L., who, together with his wife, owns a textile wholesale business, Raw Materials Design. Kent plans to offer a discount on Small Business Saturday, rather than Cyber Monday. “People like to support you,” says Kent. “I advise other small businesses to capitalize on the spirit of that.”