Small Business Saturday Plans Expansions for 2018 Event
With Black Friday now officially underway (following a preamble of early sales and Turkey Day shopping), another retail holiday is just ahead: Small Business Saturday. Founded in 2010 by American Express, the annual event that encourages consumers to visit their local shops and restaurants has grown tremendously, with 2017’s totals coming in at nearly $13 billion spent. As CNBC reports, this year Small Business Saturday will continue to expand, debuting in Puerto Rico for the first time, hosting special Etsy pop-ups, and more.
According to Amex and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), 83% of consumers plan to do some of their holiday shopping via a small business (either locally or online). Additionally, 60% of those surveyed were aware of Small Business Saturday and 80% of those consumers planned to participate. Meanwhile a separate survey by CNBC and SurveyMonkey suggests that 44% of shoppers will visit small businesses this Saturday — an increase versus last year.
Beyond the event’s seeming expansion in terms of awareness, this year will also mark the first time the holiday will reach Puerto Rico. The effort to bring Small Business Saturday to the island has been backed by Broadway and Hollywood star Lin-Manuel Miranda, who has also been appearing in television spots promoting the big day. In a statement, American Express’s chief marketing officer Elizabeth Rutledge said, “This year, we are excited to be working with Lin-Manuel Miranda and other local small business advocates who embody the spirit and passion of Small Business Saturday across the country and in Puerto Rico.”
Another way Small Business Saturday is expanding in 2018 is with the announcement of Etsy pop-ups set for that day. The popular online marketplace will partner with Amex to bring pop-ups to San Francisco, Austin, Washington, D.C., and Boston that will create “destinations for shopping locally crafted, one-of-a-kind items during one of the most popular U.S. holiday shopping days.” For more information on these special events including locations and hours of operation, be sure to visit Etsy’s blog post.
Like in previous years, American Express is also offering small business owners some marketing assistance, allowing them to easily create digital assets that can be used to promote their participation in Small Business Saturday. Both customized and generic images can be downloaded from the Shop Small site for use on social media, websites, and more. The site also offers tips templates for Small Business Saturday flyers, tips for making the most of the holiday, and many other resources for entrepreneurs.
While we won’t know for sure if 2018’s Small Business Saturday will top previous year’s in terms of dollars spent until at least Monday, it does seem poised to break some records. Between the expansion to Puerto Rico, partnerships like the one with Etsy that will allow more local vendors to participate, and other efforts, it does seem that this will be a big year for small business. So don’t forget to visit your local retailers and Shop Small this November 24th.