Planning Ahead for Small Business Saturday

In an age of global markets and capitalism, it’s far too easy for small businesses to struggle and fail, even if they have superior products and services. We have the power to change this, and Small Business Saturday encourages people everywhere to shop with small businesses for just one day, and to change the world a little bit. But how many of our local businesses, and their customers, have even heard about Small Business Saturday?

Small Business Saturday is an American shopping holiday held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving during one of the busiest shopping periods of the year. First observed on November 27, 2010, it is a counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which feature big box retail and e-commerce stores respectively. By contrast, Small Business Saturday encourages holiday shoppers to patronize brick and mortar businesses that are small and localSmall Business Saturday is a registered trademark of American Express Corporation.

Small Business Saturday is anything but small. The movement is sponsored by big brands such as Facebook, FedEx and Google, along with AMEX. These brands, and the over 3 million people who have “liked” the day on Facebook, know that much of America’s economy lies in its small companies. In fact, if you spend $100 in a locally-owned store, restaurant, salon, etc., $68 of that will go back into the community as wages, taxes and other spending.

As a small business owner, how should you get involved? First, head over to the official Facebook page where you’ll find dozens of resources available to help you promote your business. Then, create an offer. It could be a coupon, better pricing, giveaways or something else. They will all drive customer traffic to your door, provided you let everyone know what you are doing. Be sure to list your business and what you are offering on the AMEX-sponsored website, accessible via the Small Business Saturday official Facebook page; your customers, both new and old, will be looking. If nothing else, at least be open for business that day!

For business owners or managers who need help with your on-line or off-line holiday marketing, the Helena Business Association recommends Kudzu Studio, Ovation Media, and Perk Brands as quality, Helena-based marketing services. Go to for more information on these and other local business services leads.

So, what can we do as consumers to insure the success of Small Business Saturday for our locally-owned small businesses? We can pledge to support the initiative and post it to our social media accounts. This will inform our friends and encourage them to participate as well. In case you want to know which of our Helena businesses are participating, just go to the official website, either directly or via the Facebook page, type in our Zip Code and, voila!, you will find a comprehensive list of who is offering what.

Small Business Saturday will be held on November 28th this year. Helena businesses, you have just over seven weeks to prepare. Helena shoppers, the countdown is on!

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