Small Business Saturday is Nov. 24

Nov 16, 2012
Small Business Saturday is Nov. 24

Are you ready for Small Business Saturday? Held Nov. 24 this year, it encourages consumers to “shop small” and support local, independent merchants during the busiest retail weekend leading up to Christmas.

Conceived by American Express OPEN in 2010, Small Business Saturday is strategically sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Nearly half of small retailers will promote the event in their stores, according to a Nov. 5 survey from American Express and the National Federation of Independent Business.

By offering discounts, coupons and other incentives on Small Business Saturday, those merchants hope to attract customers and increase sales. Here’s how to join them:

Download free marketing materials, including banners, logos, signs and social media templates at Retailers can also create personalized online ads that target their geographic areas, but supplies are limited for the personalized ads. Drum up excitement by marketing Small Business Saturday in your store, online and through Facebook.

• Offer special discounts on Small Business Saturday. Last year, Countryside Gardens in Hampton sold artificial Christmas trees for half price. Owner Tish Llaneza, who plans to repeat the promotion this year, says the day boosted sales and educated customers about the importance of frequenting small retailers.

• Host an in-store event. Allison Hund, co-owner of Rooms, Blooms & More in Newport News, will serve coffee, tea and snacks at a Nov. 24 open house. The shop participated in the 2011 Small Business Saturday and will once again offer a 25 percent markdown on all store-owned merchandise.

“We didn’t track it formally, but we had a great Saturday last year,” Hund said of the consignment, floral arrangement and room design store.

“We had increased foot traffic. “We’ve been open 10 years, but we had some people from the neighborhood say, ‘I didn’t realize you were here,’” Hund said. “The returns were really immeasurable.”