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Shop Small! Small Business Saturday takes on extra meaning this year

This Saturday, November 26 marks Small Business Saturday, a day that encourages shoppers to patronize small businesses and invest in their local communities, and serves as the ceremonial kickoff to the holiday season.  American Express launched this shopping holiday in 2010, at the height of the Great Recession, as a way of redirecting holiday shopping to local stores. A decade later, it’s observed in all 50 states.

Greg Britton, State Director of the Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network, says Small Business Saturday has extra special meaning this year, after Hurricane. Ian left behind it a wake of devastation for residents and business owners across the state, particularly in Southwest Florida. In addition, the state, like the rest of the country, has just came out of a pandemic and the economy is in a downturn.

“In times of disaster, we play an integral role in coordinating recovery efforts with our federal, state, and local partners. In partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration and local partners, we have stood up and staffed Business Recovery Centers (BRCs), where impacted small business owners can come for in-person assistance in understanding and applying for available state and federal disaster loans. We also deploy our fleet of mobile assistance centers into impacted communities to serve as BRCs when physical locations are not available,“ he said. “Since Ian impacted our state, our team has been working around the clock to help small business owners access the resources they need to rebuild and recover.

Small Business Saturday has grown into a national movement, with all 50 states participating through state and local events, proclamations, and other support.

This Small Business Saturday, and throughout the holiday season, you have the ability to make a difference. When you shop small, not only does more of your money stay local, it also has a direct, positive impact on creating more jobs and enhancing the vibrancy and diversity of your community.

In a recent study by American Express, $0.68 of every dollar spent at a small business stays in the local community, and for every dollar spent at a small business, an additional $0.48 in local business activity is generated as a result of employees and local businesses purchasing local goods and services.

In a post-COVID economy, consumers have been more than eager to jump on board and support their local small business community. Many small businesses still working to make up the revenue they’ve lost throughout the pandemic.

Here are a few ways small businesses can set themslefves up for  success this Small Business Saturday.

Get free marketing materials, business resources, and exposure from American Express. These include a new dedicated Small Business Saturday page, Business Class, featuring insights, tips, and inspiration aimed to help SMBs grow. And to get discovered by shoppers, small businesses can add themselves to American Express’s “Shop Small” map. American Express also provides ongoing support to small businesses year-round through its Shop Small Resource Hub, where business owners have access to complimentary marketing supplies and resources that they can leverage on Small Business Saturday, too.

Enlist TikTok to help small businesses reach Gen Z shoppers and grow: This year for the first time, American Express has partnered with TikTok to launch the #ShopSmall Acceleratora new program designed to help small business owners reach a new generation of Gen Z shoppers on Small Business Saturday. Amex’s Shop Small Impact Study found that 67% of Gen Z users have shopped from a small business that was displayed on their “For You Page,” according to American Express.

Launch social media and email marketing campaigns. Since Small Business Saturday has become a household name across the country, social media and email marketing campaigns focused on this shopping holiday can bring in new customers. Businesses can use hashtags like #SmallBusinessSaturday and #ShopSmall and tag American Express’s @shopsmall social media accounts to get noticed online.

Update and optimize your small business website. Every business, especially those with e-commerce operations, should make sure their websites are up to date and mobile-friendly well before Small Business Saturday. Reaching consumers online has been key to business success in 2022 and will continue to be throughout this holiday season and beyond.

So this Small Business Saturday, we hope consumers will consider supporting local businesses in their communities not just one day but all season long.

“When I think about the businesses impacted by Hurricane Ian, I am reminded of how our community rallied after Hurricane Ivan to help others and make a difference,” Britton said. :Small business owners impacted by the storm face a tough season ahead. Granted, they are tougher and will persevere, but they need our help.”


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