Small Business SATURDAY

Shop Small: Small Business Saturday

Published on November 18th, 2011

Photo: Flickr/Ed Yourdon

Written by Melissa Hincha-Ownby, MNN

If you have pledged to participate in Buy Nothing Day next Friday, November 25 but don’t think you can go for the Buy Nothing Christmas then I have another pledge for you to take: participate in Small Business Saturday. When you head out to do your holiday shopping next Saturday, November 26 avoid the big box national chain stores and shop at your local small business instead.

Although this is only the second year for the event, it is already quite popular among the Facebook crowd. The official Small Business Saturday Facebook page has more than 2.2 million Likes. People don’t just like the site, they are also discussing it. At this time more than 260,000 people are actively talking about the day.

If you want to know why you should shop local when you might be able to find a better deal at your local big box store then let me share with you a statement that New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg made in advance of last year’s inaugural Small Business Saturday.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the glue that holds communities together, and we’ve always sought new ways to support them – something that became even more important when the national economic downturn began.” Source: American Express

Here it is a full year later and the economy is still struggling. The nation’s small business owners are the key to the recovery and the more that we can do to help boost our local economies, the better the national economy becomes.

If you’re not moved by the spirit of the day, perhaps a small financial incentive will convince you to shop local next Saturday. American Express cardmembers can register to receive a one-time $25 statement credit if they use their American Express card and spend at least $25 at a small business on November 26. Of course this offer comes with several terms and conditions that must be met so make sure you read the fine print first.

American Express doesn’t have the shop local movement cornered with its Small Business Saturday. Portland, Oregon has set up a program of its own: Little Box PDX. If you live in the Portland area simply visit one of the locally owned shops listed on the website. Take your receipt from that store to another store on the list and receive a 10 percent discount.

What are your plans for next week? Are you going to participate in Buy Nothing Day, hang out at local shops for Small Business Saturday or go for the gusto and pledge to have a Buy Nothing Christmas?