In its ninth year, Small Business Saturday made its biggest splash yet. On Nov. 24, an estimated 104 million American consumers supported local retailers and restaurants, spending $17.8 billion on Small Business Saturday 2018, according to American Express and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). The record-breaking results show that this year’s holiday shopping season is off to a good start for small businesses and Main Streets across the country.
With this year’s activity on the books, Small Business Saturday spending has now topped $100 billion, American Express and NFIB report. Over the years, Small Business Saturday and the work of independent businesses that promote it have led more and more Americans to recognize the holiday and understand the importance of shopping small. What’s more, Small Business Saturday now transcends the brick-and-mortar marketplace. While millions of Americans headed to Main Street to shop and support small businesses in store, American Express and NFIB also report that 41 percent of consumers shopped online to celebrate Small Business Saturday this year.
Just as shoppers have expanded their Small Business Saturday celebrations to new platforms, small businesses are doing the same. This year, independently owned retailers offered in-store and online opportunities for their customers to engage.
Metzger’s Hardware in Los Alamos, New Mexico, kicked off the holiday shopping season by giving back. The locally owned hardware store donated 5 percent of its Small Business Saturday sales to the United Way of Northern New Mexico. Metzger’s celebrates the community all year round, and Small Business Saturday was no exception.
Shopping Little Boxes
In Portland, Oregon, some 200 independent retailers joined forces for the Shop Little Boxes campaign. Throughout the weekend, shoppers received discounts and raffle tickets for purchases made at the participating retailers. The stores also created a mobile app to give shoppers information about participating businesses and allow them to register their raffle ticket numbers.
Celebrating on Island Time
Thanks to locally owned paint and home retailer Paint Fair, Small Business Saturday has made its way to the Bahamas. On Grand Bahama, Paint Fair celebrated with a storewide sale, freshly baked goods, hourly giveaways and more. The celebration attracted the attention of shoppers in store, online and in the local news media.
Shouting Out Small Businesses
Taking part of its celebration on to social media, A. Dodson’s in Norfolk, Virginia, let employees shout out their favorite small businesses in short videos ahead of Small Business Saturday. On the day itself, the locally owned retailer kicked off a new social media campaign called Saturdays are for Small Business. The #SAFSB campaign will extend A. Dodson’s celebration beyond its store and beyond the holiday shopping season.
Giving Ladies a Night Out
McDaniel’s Do it Center in Snohomish, Washington, hosted a Girls’ Night Out after a day of Small Business Saturday celebration. The event featured crafting demos for paint, garden, and hardware projects, as well as free gift-wrapping services and over 30 raffles. As a member of the Snohomish community for more than 40 years, McDaniel’s Do it Center turned Small Business Saturday into an opportunity to build new relationships with customers.
A successful Small Business Saturday means more prosperity and reinvestment for local economies across the country. The creative ways that independent retailers celebrated the occasion not only engaged their customers, but also paved the way to a stronger community.