Participate in Small Business Saturday to boost holiday sales

[blockquote quote=”Each year we see more and more communities recognize the important role that small businesses play in their neighborhoods and find creative ways to celebrate them on Small Business Saturday,” source=”Janey Whiteside, senior vice president and general manager of customer marketing and relationship management for American Express OPEN” align=”right” max_width=”300px”]More than 3,000 communities have signed up as Neighborhood Champions to rally their communities to Shop Small on Small Business Saturday Nov. 28. Small Business Saturday was created in 2010 by American Express. The event is held each year on the Saturday following Thanksgiving to kick off the holiday shopping season for small businesses. Neighborhood Champions are comprised of communities nationwide that support Small Business Saturday by planning events and promotions while encouraging participation from small businesses and shoppers.

In 2014, consumers who were aware of Small Business Saturday reported spending $14.3 billion with small businesses on the day, an increase of 2.1 percent from 2013, according to the 2014 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey conducted by American Express. The Neighborhood Champion program was created to help inspired community participation in Small Business Saturday and to support local events and promotions held on the day.

So far, thousands of Neighborhood Champions from every state have signed up to celebrate and rally their communities to shop small on Small Business Saturday. As part of the program, they have access to a number of free tools and resources to help make the day a success, including event guides and marketing materials to promote their businesses on the day. Neighborhood Champions also receive Shop Small®-branded merchandise, like banners, balloons and reusable shopping bags to create a festive event.

In 2015, communities have found engaging and original ways to draw in more businesses, shoppers and public officials. Some of these include window decorating contests, a shopping board game promoting multiple small businesses, citywide selfie contests and more. “Each year we see more and more communities recognize the important role that small businesses play in their neighborhoods and find creative ways to celebrate them on Small Business Saturday,” said Janey Whiteside, senior vice president and general manager of customer marketing and relationship management for American Express OPEN.

If you run a small business, whether it’s retail, hospitality, service or online, it’s time to get ready to make the most of the day when many consumers are setting out specifically to shop small.
In 2014, 88 million consumers — one out of every four Americans — shopped at small businesses on Small Business Saturday. To get ready, put up marketing materials in your store. American Express offers a suite of free marketing materials, but you’ll need to request them by Nov. 16 by going to www.shopsmall.com.

Another good strategy is to plan a special event for that day to draw in shoppers. Create special offers that you share on your website and social media pages before hand — early and often — to let shoppers know and so they can plan to visit your business. Use the day to gain long-term customers. Offer coupons or discounts for products or services that can be used in 2016, to bring customers back and to build a relationship with new customers.

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For more information, go to www.shopsmall.com.

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