Consumers Spend $5.5 Billion on Small Business Saturday

The results are exciting! Saturday’s special event sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday as a day set aside for promoting small businesses not only exceeded revenue projections but raised consumer awareness. Here are some details from this year’s Small Business Saturday:

A Big Day for the Little Guy

Small business has over-sized success. Not only did estimated consumer spending with independent merchants exceed expectations in the amount of $5.5 billion, a survey released by the NFIB and American Express indicates consumer awareness of Small Business Saturday jumped to 67 percent from just 34 percent two weeks before the event. What’s more, American Express reports that card-member transactions with small businesses increased by 21 percent over last year, an impressive showing. National Federation of Independent Business

Some stories of success. We’ve already given an overview of Saturday’s event, but individual success stories are also important. Here small business owners Leah Daniels of Hill’s Kitchen in Washington D.C. and Alan Au, co-owner of Jimmy Au’s For Men 5’8″ and Under in Beverly Hills tell about how the special small business event has given them a boost. Read their stories and some other reactions to the success of Small Business Saturday. USA Today

From the office of the President. Average consumers were not the only ones lending support to small merchants this weekend on a day set aside to help this important segment of the business community. After a U.S. election that focused prominently on the role of small businesses in revitalizing the nation’s economy, President Barack Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia paid a high profile visit to One More Page Books, a small bookstore in Arlington, VA, in an effort to promote the importance of small business. Daily News

Can’t Keep a Good Business Down

The perfect storm. After suffering through super storm Sandy last month, many mom and pop stores in areas of the country impacted by the October disaster were hoping Small Business Saturday would prove a perfect storm of another kind. Small business owners in Manhattan, in particular, some of whom have  been hurt substantially, hoped an influx of business on this day dedicated to patronizing small merchants would help them recover some of their losses. ABC News

Cyber business success. Some small businesses saw success not only on Small Business Saturday but on Cyber Monday, a day designated for online shopping, too. For example, the owner of one store in Newtown Square, PA whose store was closed on Monday said sales more than doubled over both Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. Some small businesses have yet to develop a large online presence, but are quickly seeing the potential increase in revenue online shopping can bring. Mainline Media News

How David Beats Goliath

A different kind of experience. But while small businesses have done their best to compete with bigger companies this and other holiday shopping seasons, offering discounts and promotions in an effort to outdo the big chains, columnist Carmine Gallo wonders if this is a step in the wrong direction. Don’t get him wrong. Carmine isn’t down on small businesses. He thinks we should all give them our full support. But he also believes that instead of discounts and deals, small businesses should concentrate on what they do best: creating a unique experience for customers every day. Forbes

Small Business Saturday all year long. There are many ways small business owners can keep the momentum of Small Business Saturday going all year long, beating out the bigger competition and winning over one customer at a time. Here, Rieva Lesonsky suggests eight simple ways you can keep the spirit of small business entrepreneurship alive 365 days of the year. Let’s not wait for the next Small Business Saturday. Make your small business a big success today. Open Forum

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Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is the Editor for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 16 years. A professional journalist with 20 years of experience in traditional media and online media, he attended Waynesburg University and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. He has held roles of reporter, editor and publisher, having founded his own local newspaper, the Pottsville Free Press.