|This post is underwritten by American Express as part of its Small Business Saturday initiative.|
UPDATE: In 2011, Small Business Saturday takes place on Saturday, November 26. The post below is from 2010. But the same sentiments still apply — only the date is different in 2011.
Black Friday we know. It is the biggest shopping day of the year here in the United States. The Friday after Thanksgiving is famous for sales and crowds. Some of you can taste the discounts now. Even in this economy, faithful shoppers still dive in looking for the perfect discounted Christmas gifts. Others shop for the thrill of the day.
But what about Black Saturday (my name)?
American Express declares the Saturday (November 27, 2010) after Thanksgiving as Small Business Saturday. It’s a new initiative to encourage buying from small businesses. But why shop locally when national chains like Starbucks for my tea and Barnes & Noble for my books has everything I need? Well, there are quite a few interesting and compelling reasons. Consider the two below.
Small business makes local communities go round.
We live locally and we need our communities to thrive and that takes resources. The 3/50 Project says that for every $100 spent at local small businesses, $68 returns to the community. That’s a lot returned to the community — thank you, small businesses. But a better way to drive that thank you home is to shop. Which brings me to another interesting reason to participate in Small Business Saturday.
Shopping locally gives you a taste of the community.
It’s true my local bookstore has a smaller selection and my local coffee shop doesn’t know what venti is. However, that book store features local authors and holds book signings and readings in a building that may be as old as the city. It has it’s own flavor and when I am there I become a part of it. That local coffee shop has music on Friday and Saturday nights and hot food with local names to remind me that I am not in just any old town.
Every time I shop locally I am pleasantly surprised by the interesting venues I find. In fact, I think I’ll start celebrating Small Business Saturday now.
If you plan to join me then drop by the Small Business Saturday’s Facebook page and “Get Involved!” If you “Like” the page then American Express will donate a dollar to Girls Inc. to empower them to become entrepreneurs of tomorrow. Amex cardmembers get a $25 statement credit, too. You can “Like” the Small Business Saturday Page on Facebook by clicking below: