Countdown to Small Business Saturday 2021

Small Business Saturday—taking place this year on November 27th—champions local stores, shops, and merchants. As many small businesses are still coming back in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, they should make the most of showcasing what they have to offer to their neighboring customers. If you own a small business—and you accept American Express®—discover the resources you can use to stand out—so that your neighbors will walk in.

A shopping day to celebrate

Started as an answer to the aftermath of the Great Recession of of 2008—which especially impacted local businesses—Small Business Saturday makes superstars out of neighborhood merchants. For 11 years, American Express®, in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, has promoted Small Business Saturday to spread the word for consumers to support everything from stores to restaurants that are located in their own neighborhoods. And the tagline for this year’s Small Business Saturday spells this out very well…

Let’s Go Shop Small® 

The logo to represent Small Business Saturday consists of a white circle with blue type that reads “Shop Small®.” This year, the added text to the tagline—“Let’s Go Shop Small®”—places the focus on customers, encouraging them to get out and see what the shops around their corners are selling. How then, can you, as a local business owner, create interest?

Shop Small® with American Express® 

The answer to that last question can be answered by visiting the “Shop Small® with American Express®” web page by clicking here, where you will find resources and templates that you can use to create customized signage and social posts, courtesy of the Shop Small® Studio. Additionally, you can add and update the name of the listing of your business to the Shop Small® Map.

Special perks for certain businesses

The Shop Small® movement is especially helpful to businesses owned and operated by African Americans, and American Express® now donates $10 million to these establishments with the goal of promoting economic equality and social justice. Another type of business to benefit from Shop Small® is the restaurant sector, which can join Resy—a hospitality technology platform that powers restaurants and also serves as a consumer-facing reservation platform for those who enjoy dining out. (Restauranteurs who sign up to Resy for the first time may be eligible for a free two-month membership.)

This year’s Small Business Saturday and COVID-19

Although restrictions are comparatively lighter than they were, COVID-19 is still a concern and some locations throughout the United States have reported an increase in diagnoses. With this in mind, you should still insist on proper social distancing protocols. Place hand sanitizer pumps where they can be easily seen and recommend that customers wear masks as they browse and shop from your place of business. Also, consider offering curbside assistance, which has become a popular selling point among customers, and is likely to remain once the pandemic is fully contained.

Online and in-store—a perfect combination

For safety’s sake, many people stuck to online shopping last year. Now, as more brick-and-mortar establishments have reopened, this is the year where the online and in-store experience for existing and potential customers should be maximized. Allow them to either visit your place in person or make a purchase from your website. Or, give them the option to do both by letting them order merchandise online, and then pay a visit to your store to collect it. This is just one of many examples of how to provide a seamless, memorable shopping experience for your customers. Whatever benefits technology may offer, the end result is about making a person-to-person connection between merchant and customer.

If you are not familiar with Raydeus Local, it is a resource worth exploring, as it provides advanced digital support for small businesses. With services that range from local listing and reputation management to a 24/7 digital dashboard that monitors performance, Raydeus Local may well be the best friend (albeit digital) to local businesses. Get in touch to learn more.

Check out the marketing services offered by EGC here.

Wishing a successful Small Business Saturday for you and your customers.