The 12th annual Small Business Saturday takes place this year on November 27, 2021 (the Saturday after Thanksgiving). American Express created the event as a counterpart to promotions supporting big-box retailers (Black Friday) and Cyber Monday which encourage shoppers to buy products through big box retail stores and mega-online e-commerce channels. While local holiday events that promote holiday shopping have been around for decades, Small Business Saturday helped turn the day into a national marketing event that reminds consumers why it is important to support small and local businesses, products, and services.
According to the U.S Chamber of Commerce, shoppers have also been eager to jump on board and support their local small businesses. Last year, the U.S. Small Business Administration reported Americans spent nearly $20 billion on Small Business Saturday, and in the years before that, consumers spent a cumulative $100 billion-plus related to the event.
Small business owners and their customers understand the importance of supporting small and local businesses
56% | Percentage of small business owners who agree that customer support is more critical than ever. (1)
78% | Percentage of owners who say holiday sales will impact their ability to keep their doors open in 2022. (1)
“The past year has presented unique challenges for small business owners across the country. It has never been more vital to support the small businesses that make our communities unique and contribute to the culture of our neighborhoods. Small Business Saturday provides us with an opportunity to connect with our local community and remind them to get out and shop small all holiday season.”
Nicole and Michael Nicholas owners of Aunts et Uncles in Brooklyn, NY
Advice from shoppers on ways small businesses can encourage seasonal shopping
A recent survey of holiday shoppers commissioned by Union Bank revealed the hurdles consumers say they are facing this holiday shopping season. (2)
When asked what would make the consumers more likely to shop at a small business this year, here are some of the responses.
64% | Offer holiday sales
59% | Offer unique, exclusive gifts
49% | Provide free local delivery’
48% | Offer online ordering
47% | Offer price breaks
46% | Provide a cheery, holiday experience
“Purchasing locally handcrafted items or the gift of an experience, such as a concert, can be more personal and more fun,” Deborah Small, professor of marketing and psychology at Wharton Business School recently told ConsumerReports.org. “By choosing something handcrafted or locally grown, or making a purchase that helps support a neighborhood business, your gift will be more personal and authentic,” she said.
Nicole Nicholas, Aunts et Uncles, Brooklyn, NY via American Express
(1) The American Express Shop Small Impact Study consisted of two studies conducted by Teneo on behalf of American Express. The consumer survey was an anonymous online survey conducted from October 13-18, 2021 among a sample of 1,013 adults 18 years of age and older. The American Express Shop Small Impact Study consisted of two studies conducted by Teneo on behalf of American Express. The consumer survey was an anonymous online survey conducted from October 13-18, 2021 among a sample of 1,013 adults 18 years of age and older. Consumer data is weighted by five variables: age, sex, geographic region, race and education to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total U.S. population, 18 years of age and older based on U.S. Census data. The small business owner survey was conducted online among a sample of 523 small business owners/managers in the U.S. from October 12-19, 2021. Respondent companies must conduct sales in a physical location in one of the following industries: arts/entertainment/recreation, retail trade, restaurant/bar/coffee shop/hotel/hospitality, or personal services.
(2) Union Bank Small Business Holiday Spending 2021 Survey: Research was gathered through an online survey commissioned by Union Bank and conducted by global independent research firm Edelman DxI. The survey was completed by 1,000 U.S. consumers (age 18+) and 200 U.S. small business owners, sampled to be nationally representative. Data was collected between Oct. 5 and Oct. 13, 2021. The margin of error is +/- 2 percentage points.