You Can Make a Difference on Nov. 27th
The popularity (and infamy) of Black Friday is well known, but in the Berkshires, Small Business Saturday is far more exciting. Slated for November 27, 2021, this day marks a nationwide celebration of entrepreneurship, grit, and loyalty for shoppers and business owners alike.
Small Business Saturday was launched on November 27th in 2010 by American Express, and the day became official in 2011 when the Senate unanimously passed a resolution in support of the day. Ever since, the Saturday following Black Friday is celebrated as an opportunity to shop local and show support for small businesses and the communities in which they reside.
In the Berkshires, a region known and hailed for its entrepreneurial spirit, there is no shortage of small businesses to patronize on November 27th and every other day of the year, too. As we gear up for the festive season, please consider spending your holiday dollars at a local shop, boutique, independent book or gift store, and local restaurants. When you shop local, your consumer dollars stay local – that’s a gift that gives far beyond the exchanged item or service. Plus no shipping costs or delays!
If you’re a small business owner, check out this link and the following resources to help you make the most of the biggest shopping weekend of the year. If you’re a consumer itching to mark all the nice names off your list, we have a few suggestions for you, too! Just scroll down.
WAYS TO PARTICIPATE IN SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY
Collaborate with your neighbors. Work with other businesses near you to figure out how you can get someone who stops in one store to visit another one nearby! Offer customers a small discount with a receipt dated that day from the business next door, and vice versa. If you work together to host your own event, this Small Business Saturday event planning checklist could help you get organized.
Offer something special. Small Business Saturday is all about celebrating what makes small business unique, so do something special! This doesn’t mean you have to slash prices or give away the store. Contests, raffles, and demos are all great ways to get people excited about your business. This can be an easy way to build an email list or social media presence, too.
Tell people about it. Promote your participation in Small Business Saturday on social media. Use #shopsmall and #shoplocal and follow @shopsmall on Instagram for ideas. You can also put up signage in your windows. Tell your customers about any deals you’ll be offering or fun things happening at your business in advance, and then share pictures and videos on Small Business Saturday to remind people to stop in!
Make it an experience. Although online shopping is convenient (and safe during these unprecedented times), there’s one way it can never compete with local stores, and that’s customer service. Make sure customers have an unforgettable experience during their visit, giving them a reason to come back again and again. Take the time to get to know your customers. You’ll be glad you did when they tell a friend or pop back into your shop.
WAYS TO SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESSES
Shop local. (Obviously!) Skip the big box and chain stores and buy your weekly groceries from a local grocer, your book and games from your local bookstore, and unique gifts at any one of our dozens of boutiques. Neighborhood hardware stores can help you winterize your home or tackle an improvement project. Local restaurants and cafes can keep you fueled for your day of shopping, and their offerings are far more nutritious than anything snacked on from a drive thru. The few extra bucks you might spend will be well worth the exchange for quality.
Support BIPOC and Immigrant-owned Businesses. Just like shopping small, supporting businesses owned and run by people of color and immigrants is vital to the success of those businesses and helps the entire community, too. The Berkshire Black Economic Council is a non-profit committed to supporting the Black business community in the Berkshires. Compiled last year, these resources can give you some idea of where to shop to show support: MassLive and NewEngland.com.
Champion your neighborhood. This American Express resource has some ideas for ways to get involved with Small Business Saturday promotion and support. You can also go about this on your own by checking in with your neighborhood shops and markets and asking if they need volunteers to prep for the big shopping weekend.
Here at 1Berkshire, we’re thankful for all of the local businesses that power our regional economy. Let us know how you plan to celebrate Small Business Saturday. Happy buying and shopping!
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