Small Business Saturday is an annual event that was created to encourage consumers to shop locally, in person and online, at small businesses. The event takes place every November, on the Saturday following Thanksgiving, and represents a significant opportunity to increase sales for small businesses during the holiday shopping season.
Small Business Saturday is sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday; both of these events offer a distinct advantage to big box stores, national brands, and large conglomerates. Small businesses simply can’t compete with the “loss leader” pricing model of that large chains use on both Back Friday and Cyber Monday. In fact, small businesses can’t usually compete with chains on price at all. Instead, they offer personal service, with a focus on their customers’ needs, and high quality, unique items.
At Local First Springfield, we encourage Small Business everyday, not just the Saturday following Thanksgiving, but we want to take this opportunity to encourage people to do their holiday shopping locally.
Supporting local businesses is a boost to our economy. When you spend $100 at a national chain, $13 of those dollars stay in our economy, typically in the form of wages. When you spend $100 at a local business, $68 of it stays local. In addition to wages paid, local business owners bank and invest locally, support local charities, and purchase goods and services locally.
A thriving local business community also contributes to the community by creating a diverse atmosphere and experience for area residents and visitors alike. Local boutiques, coffee shops, restaurants and other businesses make our community what it is…visitors who come to our town for business or pleasure tend to gravitate towards those unique places that they can’t visit in our towns. And residents who move away don’t miss the big-box stores and chain restaurants…they miss the local establishments that they can’t find replacements for in their new town.
This year, small businesses need our support more than ever. In a recent survey of small business owners conducted by American Express, 1 in 4 said the upcoming holiday sales season will determine whether their business can survive into next year. Small business owners are feeling more of the pressure from things like inflation, fluctuating supply chain availability and pricing, and staffing difficulties. Even without those pressures, it is inherently harder for smaller businesses to compete in our post-pandemic world.
After Small Business Saturday is wrapped up, there are a few other ways you can continue to support local:
Join us on December 7th at 4:00 at Resource One (321 E Adams) as we support Downtown Springfield Inc’s annual Holiday Walks. Come mingle, get snacks and drinks and then head out to visit and support local establishments downtown.
Purchase a gift card! We are proud to have launched a Buy Local Gift Card in partnership with Bank of Springfield. A perfect gift for gift exchanges, employees, clients and much more, these gift cards can be purchased from our website and shipped to you free of charge.
Join the organization as a member! If you are interested in joining us as a local business, a non-profit, or a supporting member, we welcome you to join us on January 31st at BUNN headquarters for our New Member Drive and Reception!