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Here’s Why Small Business Saturday Could Be the Best Day Ever

Georgia McIntyre

Georgia McIntyre

Finance Writer at Fundera
Georgia McIntyre is the resident Finance Writer at Fundera. She specializes in all things small business finance, from lending to accounting. Questions for Georgia? Comment below!
Georgia McIntyre

As a savvy consumer, you probably have Black Friday and Cyber Monday marked on your calendar as the best days to score deals at almost any retail store in the United States. But did you know about an equal—if not better—shopping event that falls on that same weekend?

It’s Small Business Saturday—an event that any smart shopper or small business owner should take advantage of on Saturday, November 26th.

Why should you participate in Small Business Saturday? Keep reading to find out.

Small Business and the U.S. Economy

As a small business owner, you know how important your business is. It isn’t just your day-to-day job and income source—it’s something that you’ve grown from the ground up, all on your own.

But do you know how important your small business is to the U.S. economy?

Small businesses are the backbone of the economy. All you have to do is look at the numbers to know how important you and your 28 million other small business owners are.

Small businesses make up:

  • 99.7% of U.S. employer firms
  • 98% of all firms exporting goods
  • 55% of all jobs and 66% of all new jobs since the 1970s
  • 54% of all sales in the U.S.
  • 30-50% of all commercial space
  • 43% of all high-tech employment
  • 33% of the U.S.’s exports value

You get the picture. In short, the U.S. economy would be nowhere close to where it is today without small business.

So, your small business isn’t just important to you. It’s important to the economy as a whole, and it needs to be recognized and supported.

That’s where Small Business Saturday comes in.

What is Small Business Saturday?

American Express launched Small Business Saturday to recognize the importance of small businesses and show support for the small business owners who play such a vital role in the economy.

As a small business owner, it’s hard to get people to come into your store to shop for the holidays. Small Business Saturday was in part an effort to get consumers to shop in their own community—not on online megastores.

So, every Saturday between the chaos of Black Friday and the online frenzy of Cyber Monday, local consumers come out on Small Business Saturday to shop small in their community. Small Business Saturday is a day for any and all small businesses—retail stores, restaurants, cafes, fitness studios, salons, you name it.

And as a small business owner, Small Business Saturday is the best time to spruce up your store, stock up in inventory, and open your doors to the community.

Why Small Business Saturday is the Best Day of the Year

If you’re a small business owner, you should absolutely embrace this shopping holiday and start gearing up for Small Business Saturday.


Well, here are two very good reasons to participate in Small Business Saturday.

1. Everyone Supports Small Business Saturday

Since its beginnings in 2010, consumers have become more and more aware of the importance of Small Business Saturday—not to mention all the deals they can get if they participate in it.  

Just how many people know about Small Business Saturday? Well, here’s what the data shows:

  • In 2010, Small Business Saturday gained 1.2 million people’s support on Facebook in only the first year. Nearly 30,000 people tweeted about #smallbusinesssaturday and #smallbizsaturday. And 41 elected officers recognized the day as a national shopping holiday. It’s official.
  • In 2011, Small Business Saturday’s Facebook page brought in 2.6 million likes and participants tweeted over 195,000 times about Small Business Saturday. In the event’s second year, 65% of regular shoppers were aware and ready to participate in Small Business Saturday. And an estimated 103 million shoppers went out and shopped small on Small Business Saturday.
  • In 2012, 155 big corporations like Fedex, AOL, and Twitter banded together to promote shopping during Small Business Saturday. More than 3.2 million Facebook users supported Small Business Saturday, and 213,000 people tweeted about #smallbizsat. Of all the consumers that were aware of Small Business Saturday, almost 50% of them turned out and actually shopped during the 2012 event.
  • In 2013, consumer awareness of Small Business Saturday jumped to 71%, from the 67% in 2012. Almost 370 advocacy organizations signed up to support the initiative and encourage people to go out and support small business.
  • In 2014, more than two-thirds of the entire U.S. population was aware of Small Business Saturday. Support for Small Business Saturday grew with 446 companies signing up to become official supporters of the day, and 3.3 million Facebook users validating its importance.
  • In 2015, Neighborhood Champions increased by nearly 50%, with 4,100 registered supporters rallying support for small business. And by 2015, 83% of U.S. consumers said that they were inspired to shop small on Small Business Saturday, and went out to do so.

Long story short, the entire U.S. knows about Small Business Saturday, understands why it’s so valuable to their local economy, and goes out to participate.

So if everyone else is on board, why shouldn’t you be? There’s no time like the present to go download some Small Business Saturday marketing materials and bring those eager shoppers right into your store.

2. Everyone Loves to Shop Small on Small Business Saturday

It’s obvious that more and more people come out to support Small Business Saturday each year.

But how much can it really affect your sales?

Well, Small Business Saturday can bring in a lot for your business. When local consumers spend one whole day shopping small, its has a big impact on your wallet.

If you look at Small Business Saturday throughout the years, the numbers say it all:

  • In 2013, nearly 1,500 small business, consumers, and local organizations joined in support of Small Business Saturday, and shoppers spent an estimated $14 billion.
  • In 2014, more than 88 million shoppers spent $14.3 billion on Small Business Saturday.
  • In 2015, more than 95 million shoppers spent $16.2 billion on Small Business Saturday.

When you look at how much Americans spend and support Small Business Saturday, the numbers keep growing. And when it comes down to how much shoppers spend during the event, there’s really no reason why a small business owner shouldn’t participate in Small Business Saturday.

Not only does Small Business Saturday introduce new customers to your small business. It also increases your sales—by a lot.

Why You Need to Participate in Small Business Saturday 2016

Want to get in on this upward trend? Then 2016 is the best year to open your doors for Small Business Saturday.

If you participate in 2016’s Small Business Saturday, here’s some good news that’s in store for your business:

  • Research predicts that $17.8 billion will be spent on Small Business Saturday—a 10% increase from 2015.
  • Almost two-thirds of U.S. consumers plan to spend at least $100 at small retailers or restaurants on Small Business Saturday in 2016.
  • And 77% of consumers aware of Small Business Saturday are planning to go to one or more small businesses as a major part of their holiday shopping.

Put simply, your local customers are ready to come spend at your business. You just need to embrace Small Business Saturday and welcome them in.

And with a new chance for consumers to earn 2x Membership Rewards points when they use American Express credit cards at small businesses on Small Business Saturday, shoppers have even more reason to come out and shop at your small business this year.

Getting In on the Small Business Saturday Action

So, if you’re sold on Small Business Saturday, it’s easy to get your business ready for the big day.

Here are some steps you can take to prepare for Small Business Saturday:

  • Take advantage of free Small Business Saturday resources. American Express offers a number of different free, personalized advertising tools and marketing materials for participating small businesses. Show your customers that you’ll be open for business on Small Business Saturday by downloading the Shop Small logo to display on your website or use as signage on your shop’s front door.
  • Create a Special Offer. Small Business Saturday is a special, one-day-only event to get a ton of foot traffic in your store. To get even more sales on Small Business Saturday, offer a one-day discount or free sample. Show your customers that you appreciate their business and their support of Small Business Saturday. And if you go above and beyond on this Saturday, they’ll come back as regulars throughout the year.
  • Get your website in order. Small Business Saturday has reached online shoppers, too. So if your online storefront is ready for a lots of traffic—with updated inventory and Small Business Saturday promotions prominently displayed—you’ll be a step ahead when the holiday comes around.
  • Beef up your storefront. If you’re anticipating a lot of customers in your brick-and-mortar store for Small Business Saturday, make sure that all the logistics are in order. Keep track of your inventory leading up to the event, making sure that you’re stocked up for the day. Also, hire some additional hands for the event if you think you’ll need them. According to a study from last year’s event, shoppers care about customer experience while taking advantage of Small Business Saturday. If you only have one employee working the cash register and your customers can’t get what they need, you might not be providing the Small Business Saturday experience they’re looking for.
  • Start your social media efforts now. With Small Business Saturday supporters all over Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, it’s time to start advertising your participation in the event on social media. When the day rolls around, #SmallBizSat and #ShopSmall hashtags will be all over the place. Make your promotions, special offers, or extra hours known by engaging in Small Business Saturday’s social media hype.

The biggest small business shopping event of the year is just around the corner. And when Small Business Saturday rolls around, you’ll be happy you prepared your small business for the big day.

After all, major retail stores waste no time preparing and promoting holiday shopping, so you shouldn’t either.

Fundera Supports Small Business Saturday

Excited for Small Business Saturday? We are too.



From opening your doors to financing your business, Fundera is with your small business every step of the way. That’s why we’ll be there to support small businesses on Small Business Saturday.

See you on November 26th!

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
Georgia McIntyre

Georgia McIntyre

Finance Writer at Fundera
Georgia McIntyre is the resident Finance Writer at Fundera. She specializes in all things small business finance, from lending to accounting. Questions for Georgia? Comment below!
Georgia McIntyre

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