Black Friday has long been one of the busiest shopping days of the year, but the businesses that typically stand to benefit from it are usually behemoth retail stores, which draw a huge portion of revenue away from small businesses. What’s more, is the corresponding internet shopping event, Cyber Monday, cuts into the retail dollars that might be otherwise spent at small businesses as well.
Small Business Saturday, which falls on Saturday, November 29th, aims to change that.
According to The Missoulian, Small Business Saturday was created in 2010 by financial services company American Express to help encourage people to do some of their holiday shopping at local small businesses.
The Missoulian also reports that studies have shown that both Black Friday and Cyber Monday pose a threat to local economies, since most of the money spent on those days goes to large retailers rather than local small businesses. One of these studies found that money spent on local services and goods is three times more likely to stay in the local economy — in the ways of higher wages for employees, more business between local stores, and increases in taxes.
Small businesses are already taking measures to save money like cutting down on overhead by using LED’s (light emitting diodes, which are energy-efficient solid light bulbs) in their signage, going paperless, and other measures, but what they (and local economies) really need are people in the stores.
“For every $1 spent in the community, it will circulate in the community seven times,” Missoula Downtown Association executive director Linda McCarthy told The Missoulian. “If you go to big box stores, your dollars are leaving the community. If you spend them locally, at brick-and-mortar stores, it stays here and it gets circulated in the economy multiple times.”
CBS affiliate WDBJ 7 reports that some small businesses, like those in Roanoke, VA, for example, are promoting the shopping event by offering “passport programs,” which shoppers can use to enter into a giveaway after visiting a certain number of local stores.