With Thanksgiving taking place almost a week later than normal this year, merchants everywhere are going to be clamoring over one another to get at those coveted holiday season shoppers. There is a reason why this particular day has become known as black Friday; for most business owners who specialize in the selling of consumer goods it marks the unofficial turning point for when their balance sheets turn from red to black. It’s quite the spectacle for big box stores and shopping malls across the country, with people camping out in line and mobbing one another to get their hands on slightly shoddier goods at bargain basement prices. But while major retailers sit back and soak up the attention, small business owners are often left out in the cold, overshadowed by their glossier counterparts.
Thank goodness for Small Business Saturday.
If you haven’t heard of it before, Small Business Saturday is the day that local retailers fight back. First observed in 2010, it’s an annual event that takes place the day after Black Friday (November 30th this year). The dirty little secret of it all is that it was conceived by credit card conglomerate American Express, but if you’re able to ignore that particular fact it really is a testament to the enduring power of small businesses everywhere.
According to a recent article on The Wall Street Journal’s website MarketWatch, is seems like more and more local business owners are deciding to embrace the idea of Small Business Saturday:
Small Business Saturday has become an important fixture on the business calendar for merchants and an increasing number are investing more money and providing additional incentives to reach customers. Even as social media and word of mouth remain the top methods for business owners to reach customers with their Small Business Saturday offerings, the number of business owners who say they'll rely primarily on paid advertising (TV, radio and newspaper) to promote Small Business Saturday has doubled (18% vs. 9% in 2012).
Whereas the event started out as something of a novelty, it’s quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with. With an increasing number of small business owners buying into the idea by spending money to promote it, the hope is that more and more consumers will look to the event as a viable alternative to Black Friday. Considering how important small business growth is to local communities, not to mention the economy as a whole, this is one trend definitely worth getting behind.