Local retailers set for Small Business Saturday

Downtown businesses, including the Rushville Pharmacy are preparing for Small Business Saturday, which will take place tomorrow.

Small businesses throughout the nation will celebrate Small Business Saturday tomorrow (Saturday, Nov. 30).

{span}”When you support a local business, you’re also supporting your town, city and neighborhood,” Executive Director of the Rush County Chamber of Commerce Sandy Fussner said. “Businesses pay sales taxes to the city and county they’re located in. When we shop elsewhere like a big box business, that money isn’t benefiting our community at all. Tax money from our local businesses is used to support public schools, parks, roads and sidewalks as well as fund public service workers, like firefighters. {span}Remember to shop small business not only this Saturday, but throughout the year. {/span}”{/span}

Small Business Saturday falls between Black Friday and Cyber Monday in an attempt to capitalize on one of the biggest shopping weekends of the year.

Last year, consumer spending at independent retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday reached a record high of $17.8 billion, according to a National Federation of Independent Business survey. The survey indicated 70 percent of American adults said they were aware of Small Business Saturday, which is also a record high.

According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), small businesses make up more than 99 percent of all businesses in the U.S and employ 47.5 percent of the country’s workers.

On average, only 50 percent of these businesses survive past five years. Such statistics illustrate the importance of shopping local.

The SBA provides 10 tips to help small businesses prepare for Small Business Saturday.

• Give yourself a digital makeover – Check your website, social media accounts and review sites to make sure all online information about your small business is accurate and up to date. Focus on what you offer, where you’re located and how customers can contact you.

• Show what sets your business apart – As a small business it’s tough to compete with big box stores. In your marketing efforts, make sure customers know what makes your small business special. This can be a unique product of service or simply creating an inviting space for shoppers. Whatever that may be, communicate it to customers.

• Get social on social media – Promote Small Business Saturday deals and share how you’re preparing your store. Use #ShopSmall on your social media posts to join the overall conversation. Encourage shoppers to snap a selfie and tag your business. This can increase engagement of your post, potentially reaching new customers.

• Plan an event – Organize a Small Business Saturday kickoff with food, drinks and promotional items to draw shoppers in. Consider special discounts or free offerings for loyal customers. Set up an in store activity that demonstrates your products or services.

• Partner up – Contact other small businesses in your area and see how you can team up to provide special offers. Consider highlighting a local charity at your business. It’s a great way to embrace the spirit of the season and give back.

• Leverage local events – Identify other holiday events and determine how your business can participate. This could lead to repeat customers and help you become a bigger part of the community.

• Promote gift cards – Many holiday shoppers buy gift cards or gift certificates for family and friends, representing a huge opportunity for your small business.

• Stay open longer – Small Business Saturday will most likely be your busiest day of the year. Extending your hours by opening earlier and closing later could have a big impact on sales.

• Chat with staff – Before Small Business Saturday, have a meeting with your staff. Reminding them to greet each shopper when they enter and exit your business. Thank them and show appreciation for their work. Making Small Business Saturday a win for your business is a total team effort.

• Track success – Take a few moments after Small Business Saturday to analyze what worked and what didn’t. This could help shape your strategy for next year

The SBA states Small Business Saturday was created by the credit card company American Express on Nov. 27, 2010 in an effort to help small businesses gain exposure and change the way consumers shop within their communities during the holiday season.

Contact: kraig.younts@rushvillerepublican.com

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