Small Business Saturday

The local seafood stand, the hardware store and the grocery store on the corner, there’s little doubt that small businesses are the backbone of our local economy. U.S. small businesses are responsible for $4.8 trillion in GDP, which is equivalent to the third largest economy in the world, according to a small business economic impact study from American Express.

And according to The Institute for Local Self-Reliance, local stores recycle a much larger share of their sales revenue back into the local economy, while chains siphon most of the dollars spent at their stores out of the community, funneling them back to corporate headquarters.

On average, two-thirds of every dollar ($0.67) spent at small businesses in the U.S. stays in the local community as a result of employee spending and businesses purchasing local goods and services.

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The AMEX study points out locally-owned businesses spend a larger share of their revenue on local labor than chains. They spend more than twice as much buying goods and services from other local businesses. They banked locally and hire local accountants, attorneys, designers and other professionals. In addition, they advertise in local media and they donate more on average to local charities and community organizations than chains stores.

So, if you’re planning to do some holiday shopping this weekend do it on Saturday’s Small Business Saturday. American Express, in partnership with the non-profit National Trust for Historic Preservation, started the event in 2010 to support local retailers and small ecommerce shops. The day encourages holiday shoppers to patronize brick and mortar businesses and many businesses will be offering perks, treats and deep discounts.

For example, Sequoia Outdoor Supply, the Gulf Coast’s largest supplier of cedar products is offering a 25 percent off any purchase in store, including pergolas and pavilions. Sequoia stocks metal and treated pine posts, concrete, gate hardware, mud boards and other outdoor project hardware needs.

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“We’re also doing Small Business Saturday and Black Friday sales because we’re trying to let people know we don’t just work with contractors, we also serve residential customers,” says Sequoia Outdoor Supply’s general manager, Paul Caronna.

Armoire Boutique is also participating and offering 20 percent off all regular-price clothing and shoes and will offer complimentary mimosas and brunch-y bites.

“Our annual Small Business Saturday Thanks a Brunch! event is our favorite event of the year,” says Leslie J. Almeida, Armoire store and marketing manager. ”New Orleanians love to shop local. SBS brings us all together for a day to celebrate the small biz community, and is the perfect opportunity for us to show our customers how much we appreciate their loyalty.”

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Small Business Saturday is a huge opportunity for participating businesses — and not just for brick-and-mortars. Last year, ecommerce sales made up $3 billion of total spending on Small Business Saturday.

If you own a local business it’s not too late to get in on the surge of business. Of the nearly 60 percent of U.S. consumers who reported knowing about Small Business Saturday, 80 percent say they plan to shop at independent retailers on Saturday.

Use social media to your advantage by making sure your social media followers know you’re planning to participate and highlight any special offers or incentives you are offering. Also, make sure to showcase some of your most giftable products.

Marketing experts suggest when you post about your Small Business Saturday plans, make sure to use some of the following hashtags: #SmallBizSat, #ShopSmall and #SmallBusinessSaturday.

“Small businesses like ours are important to any area,” says Coronna. “They’re the heartbeat of any community.”



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