For the second year in a row, the U.S. Small Business Administration is encouraging Americans to support small businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, which falls on November 26 this year. The SBA offers this day as an antidote to the day before, known as Black Friday, on which many big box stores encourage Americans to begin and do as much of their holiday shopping with them as possible by offering shoppers special incentives.
The Bainbridge Island Chamber of Commerce is promoting the event through its website and newsletter. And many local businesses have signed up their businesses on the SBA Small Business Saturday Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/SmallBusinessSaturday). Shoppers can enter their zip code on a form on the Facebook page and find a list of participating local businesses. The Facebook page also offers visitors a way to “pledge to shop small” and then share it on their own pages. And American Express is offering a one-time $25 statement credit when a shopper registers his or her American Express Card and uses it for a purchase of $25 or more at a small business on November 26th.
But whether or not they sign up on the SBA Facebook page, every local retailer is a de facto participant, either conducting business as usual or offering special incentives. One local retailer that is offering a special incentive is Bay Hay and Feed; the store is giving 15 percent of sales on Friday and Saturday to One Call for All, the umbrella organization that generates an annual fundraising campaign for more than 85 local nonprofits.
SBA Administrator Karen Mills says, “Small businesses are the foundation of our economy—half of America’s workers either own or work for a small business.” She adds that “Small Business Saturday is an opportunity to show our support for our friends and neighbors who throughout the year are growing our local economy, as well as supporting many local initiative and organizations.” The SBA claims that small businesses have generated two out of every three net new jobs over the past 15 years and employ over half of all private sector employees.
If you choose to shop locally on Saturday, you won’t be alone. The SBA 2011 Consumer Spend Survey reports that 89 million people plan to shop at small businesses on the 26th.
Featured image courtesy of SBA. Photos by Julie Hall.