You've probably heard of Small Business Saturday - a big push among local communities across the country that has grown into an annual holiday shopping tradition.
What is Small Business Saturday
Small Business Saturday is an annual event that takes place on the Saturday following Thanksgiving - falling this year on November 30th.
The Small Business Saturday push gives consumers the opportunity to check out new businesses, learn where the products come from, and get to know the people behind them. And, it allows small businesses to tell their authentic stories.
Where did it start?
In 2010, American Express launched Small Business Saturday to help drive more holiday shopping to small businesses. Then, in 2011, the Senate unanimously passed a resolution in support of Small Business Saturday. By 2012 officials in all 50 states began to participate – and they have every year since.
Small businesses are essential to healthy and thriving communities, individuals, families, and the economic growth of all.
Support Local Economy
There are 30.7 million small businesses in the United States, accounting for 99.9% of U.S. businesses.
Imagine 99.9% of businesses not existing.
Investing in locally owned small businesses keeps money in your community to support other important initiatives through local sales tax earned: from education, to police and fire departments, parks, and other publicly funded programs. According to American Express, approximately two-thirds of every dollar spent at a small business stays within the community.
View the full 2019 Small Business Profile.
Support Individuals and Family (and Entrepreneurship)
A small business is often the realization of a life-long goal or dream. The products or services sold represent the imagination, passion, and dedication of the small business owner and perhaps even their entire family. Know that when you shop local, you are supporting the dreams of another.
When you shop small in any capacity, you are showing the small business owner(s) that you are choosing them over a larger competitor with more resources. You are also choosing a personal connection with people who live right next door to you and are invested in the same community.
Create and Support Local Jobs
Supporting small businesses means supporting jobs in your community. Simple as that.
For some perspective: There are 59.9 million small business employees, making up 47.3% of United States employees.
View the full 2019 Small Business Profile.
Unique Shopping and Gifting
Many small business owners see their products as a reflection of themselves.
Shopping at local small businesses creates a unique experience you can’t have online. Small businesses tend to provide a more personal customer experience and offer special things you wouldn’t find elsewhere. They also tend to be handmade or in support of multiple individuals / small businesses. So shopping in one local store may be helping multiple businesses, individuals, and their families.
Unity in Community
Wherever you’re from, chances are there was a small business that played an important role in your life. A local diner you and your family frequented for breakfast. The construction company that gave you your first summer job. The printing shop that helped you get your own small business visible. It might not have occurred to you at the time, but these businesses helped make your community what it was.
Small businesses tie communities together, and form the character of the neighborhood and those who live in it.
You are shopping small every time you pick up a coffee at the local cafe, grab lunch at a mom and pop diner, or buy a new outfit from your neighborhood boutique.
Here are some simple ways you can support and shop local:
- Support the small businesses in your area and shop local – especially during Small Business Saturday on November 30th.
- Choose small businesses - in person or online - during the holiday season and everyday.
- Share your shop small experiences on social media using #ShopSmall and thank the businesses you visit for their contributions to your community.
- Leave positive reviews for small businesses online - Facebook, Google, Yelp, etc.
- Encourage family and friends to shop at small businesses.
- Get involved with your local Chamber to see how they are supporting local, small businesses.
- Attend small business events in your area to help promote and spread the word of local business.
- If you are a small business, partner with your local Chamber and other small businesses in the area.
- Skip Black Friday - which you may already want to do.
There are so many ways to support small businesses - with your money, your business, community organizing efforts, or thoughtful consumer habits.
Shop Small in Kankakee County
The best way to Shop Small in Kankakee County is to simply get out and connect with businesses in the community. From the shops on Schyuler Ave. in Kankakee to the growing Broadway Ave. in Bradley, and the budding, historic Momence downtown, you’ll find them in every town, on every corner.
You can also turn to social media. Seek recommendations from friends and family on their favorite local businesses, browse local community groups for suggestions, and check out what’s happening in and around your local area.
The Kankakee County Chamber of Commerce also hosts their Shop Small website every year for businesses to offer special Shop Small Saturday (and beyond) discounts for community members. As an individual you can check out the website, discover new shops in the area, and even check out what deals they are offering you!
On Small Business Saturday and beyond, get out and connect with the plethora of local and unique small businesses. If you’re a consumer, kick off your holiday shopping at your local small business. If you’re a small business owner, support and partner with other companies in the Kankakee County community.
Time To Act
Maybe you start by foregoing Starbucks for the local coffee shop, leaving a kind review for your favorite local restaurant, or recommending that landscaper to your friends and family. There are lots of tiny actions you can take that will mean the world to the small business owners in your community.
So what are you waiting for? Get started today!