by Christina Arrington, Business Development Manager - Capitol Hill Specialist
| Nov 26, 2019
Small businesses are the backbone of local economies and the bedrock of strong communities. Investing locally is one of the best ways to strengthen a neighborhood, and holiday shopping is no different. Join us on November 30th to celebrate Small Business Saturday as we support the retailers and restaurants run by those among us.
American Express founded Small Business Saturday in 2010 as a way to highlight the value of small businesses in America, and more importantly to find tangible means of supporting their growth. Sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday specifically encourages consumers to patronize small and/or local businesses. The initiative seems to be working; 1 in 6 U.S. consumers say they’re aware of the shopping holiday, and 80% of them intend to shop at independent retailers that day.
Supporting small business makes a big impact. When only 50% of small businesses survive the five-year mark, purchasing your goods and gifts from the shop down the street could be the difference between a small business staying open or closing its doors.
More than 99% of all businesses in the U.S. are small enterprises, and they employ 47.5% of the American workforce. Brick-and-mortar shops – and the folks who work them – have a cultural impact. They are the cornerstones of our communities, the threads that create vibrant and unique connections. Our neighborhoods would not be the same without them.
The financial benefits of shopping small are clear. One of the greatest impacts of Small Business Saturday is that it encourages shopping local year-round. As American Express notes, 96% of consumers who reported shopping on Small Business Saturday said they felt more inclined to shop small throughout the year. And for every $100 spent at a local business, $68 stays within the local economy. Compare that to the $43 that large businesses reinvest. Where does that extra $25 go? Let’s keep it local.
If you’re a local entrepreuner, there are plenty of ways you can leverage Small Business Saturday. What works for one may not work for another, so research your industry, talk to your peers, get a sense of what other businesses are trying… and then decide what works for you.
Check out these 21 Simple Ideas for a Successful Small Business Saturday by Entrepreneur Magazine. Suggestions include everything from offering incentives to extending hours. Don’t try to compete with the “big dogs” if you can help it, but do try to celebrate other small businesses! Use this as an opportunity to think strategically for the entire year.
However you get involved, promote it appropriately. Many businesses find success implementing a targeted email marketing strategy, and social media provides another direct way to engage with potential customers. Use the hashtags #SmallBizSat #ShopSmall and #SmallBusinessSaturday to increase your exposure and tap into existing conversations.
Interested in supporting local small businesses but unsure where to begin? This holiday season, support our LGBTQ and allied member businesses in the Business Resource Guide & Directory. Equality is good business!
In concert with Capitol Hill Seattle (CHS), this year the Capitol Hill Business Alliance (CHBA) will also continue the tradition of supporting local entrepreneurs via the popular neighborhood campaign Shop Small, Shop the Hill.
Local artist Rachel Quast designed the winning poster, which will be seen in storefronts across Capitol Hill throughout 2020. It’s an eye-catching visual reminder of the importance of supporting our local economy – not just for this holiday, but all year long.
Got a hot promotion this holiday shopping season? The Shop the Hill page on Facebook features the goods from our local businesses. If you’re a merchant in Capitol Hill, it’s free to add your Shop the Hill promotions via Facebook directly, while conscious consumers should follow the page for new deals, events, and promotions.