In 2010, American Express founded Small Business Saturday in an effort to help small businesses compete with the mega-stores. Through the Shop Small website, the nation-wide event encourages consumers to shop at “mom and pop” stores in their own communities on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This year, Small Business Saturday falls on November 29th.
Over the past four years, Small Business Saturday has grown into a powerful movement, and more people are taking part than ever before. In 2011, federal, state and local government officials, including President Obama, voiced their support of the event, and Small Business Saturday was officially recognized by the U.S. Senate.
In 2012, it was estimated that Americans spent $5.5 billion at independent businesses on that year’s Small Business Saturday. In 2013, it was estimated that approximately 1,500 communities across the nation pledged to support the day as “Neighborhood Champions.”
Neighborhood Champions are the members of their community who support both independent businesses and Small Business Saturday by organizing events in their own neighborhood. Neighborhood Champions have made the event a success for their communities by planning such activities as fun-runs, street fairs, rallies, scavenger hunts, and other family events that raise awareness for independent small businesses in their area. When a small business owner or community leader signs up to be Neighborhood Champion, Shop Small will send them an event kit to help them get started.
Every American is encouraged to participate in Small Business Saturday by shopping at independent small businesses on November 29th, and by participating in the events that your local Neighborhood Champions have planned.
The idea behind Small Business Saturday is not to get consumers to just buy from small businesses on that one day. The intention is to give the public a reason to venture away from the big-name retailors and global chains, and into the small businesses that are run by their neighbors, in an effort to boost the local economy.
Small businesses are the life-blood of this nation and its economy. When small businesses fail, so too do local economies. This November 29th, be sure to support Small Business Saturday.
The Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) is a non-profit business trade association that promotes and assists Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and responsible for job generation. That is why VAMBOA provides its members with Business Coaching, Contracting Opportunities, a Blog that provides information, Networking contacts and other resources. Membership is FREE to Veterans. Join Now!
VAMBOA: Small Business Saturday 2014: By Debbie Gregory