Black Friday may get most of the headlines, but the day after it – Small Business Saturday – is just as deserving of consumers’ attention. Begun in 2010, it’s a celebration of the benefits that shopping small can provide local communities and local shoppers. Those benefits are many. Your Better Business Bureau is a strong supporter of SBS, Small Business Saturday.
A few quick stats
Number of shoppers who patronized small businesses during SBS last year: 95 million.
Amount spent at those businesses: $16 billion.
Predicted spending at this year’s event: $17.8 billion.
Amount of each $100 spent at small business returned to the local community: $68.
Number of small businesses in US: 23 million.
Number of jobs those businesses have created since 1990: 8 million, or 40 percent of all American retail jobs.
Small biz – big payoff
Life is complicated for modern consumers. The marketplace is bigger than ever and the choices are many. Between the big box stores, the chain specialty stores, the myriad online choices and our community’s small businesses, why should we go out of our way to spend our hard earned dollars at local retailers? Here are some of the best reasons:
• It’s an investment in your local economy. To the thoughtful consumer there is more at stake than just whether the price is low. We are all intertwined with our local economy and stand to benefit when it is healthy. A great way to contribute to the well being of that economy is by spending your shopping dollars at local businesses. The American Independent Business Alliance reports that every dollar spent at local independent businesses returns three times more money to the local economy than a dollar spent at a national chain.
• You get more personalized customer service. The corporate policies at big chain stores have been a source of frustration for more than a few shoppers. When there’s an issue with a product purchased, there can be less red tape to untangle at your local store. Those retailers can have more of a passion for their products and services. That can translate to individualized attention of a sort rarely available at the giant stores.
• Shopping local means shopping greener. When a small retailer relies less on national manufacturing and distribution hubs there is less needed transportation with all of its pollution and congestion effects.
• You increase the likelihood of local job creation. Small stores that see increased sales naturally need more employees to handle the load. Additionally, those retailers rely on local businesses such as accounting firms, printers, growers, artists and designers. That spreads the need for increased jobs in your community.
• Local savvy means tailored services and products. That small business in your community can contain big knowledge about local needs and lifestyles – local trends, what works and what doesn’t work well in your area. Become a repeat customer and you can be rewarded with the sort of familiarity that leads to better suggestions and services for your specific preferences and requirements. In other words, they know you in a way that the big guys do not.
• When you shop locally you are helping shape your area’s unique personality. You are helping colorful local establishments stay open. Those businesses are an important part of the fiber that makes up the whole of your community and its spirit.
Consider helping out our community’s important small businesses on Small Business Saturday. When you do so you are really doing yourself a favor as well. Look on social media and on individual business websites for special deals and promotions associated with SBS. As always, consider checking out those businesses with BBB’s business reviews as well. Your Better Business Bureau stands ready to answer questions or concerns when you contact them at (800) 856-2417, or visit our website at bbbinc.org.