If you follow any local retail businesses on social media, you’ve probably seen the phrase “shop small” in more than a few posts and some references to Small Business Saturday.
If you don’t remember Small Business Saturday as part of your childhood holiday shopping diet there is a good reason. The movement to include small businesses in the after Thanksgiving shopping extravaganza is pretty new.
Let’s start with what Small Business Saturday is before we go into some of its history. The simple explanation is, Small Business Saturday is the day after Black Friday. It is specifically set up to encourage shopping at smaller local businesses who don’t have the resources or influence to have door busters or to open their doors on Thanksgiving or early Friday morning.
Smaller businesses were historically left out in the cold for Black Friday while the focus was placed on larger chains.
In 2010, American Express created the Shop Small movement to encourage shoppers to spend some of their after-Thanksgiving money with local retailers. This was in the middle of a recession, when smaller businesses needed the boost.
The idea made its way to the United States Senate in 2011 and a resolution was passed supporting this brand new shopping day. American Express reports that all 50 states now participate.