Why Small Business Saturday Really Matters


We've said it many times before; small businesses don’t really get many holidays.

Not when we’re plugged in 24/7. Not when our inbox is full and the phone won’t stop ringing. Not when our survival depends on how often our doors are open and how many people we can bring through those doors.

So, no. Small business owners don’t get many holidays.

Thankfully, Small Business Saturday is on our side to change that.

What is Small Business Saturday?

Small Business Saturday represents both a holiday and a movement.

Since its humble origins in 2010, Small Business Saturday has worked to raise awareness for small businesses in the face of Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the general craze of modern holiday shopping. Taking place the Saturday after Thanksgiving, the holiday asks buyers to consider shopping “small” and supporting local businesses and their communities. In short, Small Business Saturday’s mission is to raise awareness for SMBs during a time where many are often forgotten.

Thankfully, the mission and holiday itself have gained steam since its inception. The event’s Facebook page garnered 1.2 million “Likes” in one month in 2010 (and at present has 3.2 million). The United States Senate officially recognized Small Business Saturday in 2011 as millions of shoppers took part in the event. Last year, an estimated $5.5 billion was spent during Small Business Saturday. Need we say more?

While these numbers may not seem like much in the grand scheme of things, they speak volumes for a movement that’s still getting off the ground. We can only imagine how much the holiday will continue to grow in coming years.

Why Small Business Saturday Matters

To understand why Small Business Saturday matters, it’s important to understand why small businesses matter. Maybe you don’t need us to tell you that small businesses represent the engine of the country’s economy and the heart and soul of our workforce. Let the numbers tell the story instead:
  • There are almost 28 million small businesses in the US and over 22 million are self employed with no additional payroll or employees
  • Over 50% of the working population (120 million people) works in a small business
  • Small businesses have generated over 65% of the net new jobs since 1995
Small Business Saturday matters because of instances such as a Black Friday, where billions of dollars will be spent to the benefit of many big box corporations. It’s no secret that small businesses have historically been hurting. Believe it or not, the country as a whole needs a reminder to buy local and support the businesses in their communities. Small Business Saturday serves as a reminder to consumers as to where the beating heart of America’s economy really lies.

How Can My Business Participate?

The official Small Business Saturday site has a plethora of resources for businesses looking to participate. From logos and signage to social media templates, there are plenty of ways for your business to show its support. Also consider taking advantage of the #shopsmall hashtag for this year’s Small Business Saturday when it comes to your social channels. Make sure that your customers and community know that you’re part of the movement and that you want them in on it, too.

Consider also that shoppers were encouraged to spend roughly $50 of their holiday budget during Small Business Saturday last year. What sorts of deals and sales can you integrate into your business to become part of that budget? Small Business Saturday isn't about half-priced gadgets and endless lines. It’s about community and commerce. Don’t expect buyers to come crashing down your door, but rather what you and your business can do for them. Be thankful for your holiday shoppers and keep their wants, needs and budgets in consideration.

Regardless, the millions of shoppers and billions of dollars spent during Small Business Saturday last year reminds us that there are customers who are certainly willing to spend. Will you meet them as part of the local movement?

The Bottom Line

Small Business Saturday represents a chance to raise your business’ visibility within the small business community and give your customers a break from modern shopping insanity. Regardless of how you participate, be mindful and thankful of your customers and fellow small business owners this holiday season. As we all face similar trials and tribulations, it’s comforting to know that Small Business Saturday is there to raise awareness for our cause.

How will your business be taking part in Small Business Saturday?

Image via Shutterstock

About the Author

Brent Barnhart

Brent Barnhart is a freelance content writer specializing in topics such as Internet marketing and content marketing for small businesses. His goal is to help business owners find their voices online and improve their content strategies. You can reach Brent or find out more at brentwrites.com.

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