The fledgling national business holiday is celebrated on the weekend immediately following Thanksgiving. The special small business holiday is alive and well and being observed this year on the Peninsula as it has been since it was first invented nationally six years ago.
“We look forward to Small Business Saturday,” said Denise (Denny) Knox, executive director of Ocean Beach MainStreet Association (OBMA), the beach community's business improvement district. “It gives us an opportunity to promote our local shops with a nationally recognized campaign – and with more than 500 small businesses in our association of local merchants, OB is a great neighborhood to shop local.”
Knox noted OBMA has created a business directory at www.oceanbeachsandiego.com.
“I encourage people to visit our site to see the diverse and unique small businesses that make up our community,” she said.
OBMA president Barbara Iacometti agreed there's “no better way to get your holiday shopping done than to walk down the street and pop into one of the many independently owned businesses here in OB to get unique gifts for your loved ones, with no crowded malls to deal with.”
Added Iacometti, “A few of the businesses on Niagara are joining together to put a passport together to encourage shoppers to visit the other businesses as well. If you visit the six shops on the passport, you will be entered into a drawing for some great prizes from the participating businesses.
“Many businesses are having specials, double-points days and various other promotions,” continued Iacometti. “It is a good day for people to get out and show how much they like having great stores here in the community.”
Small Business Saturday was first observed in Massachusetts in 2010 as a counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But unlike Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which feature big box retail and e-commerce, Small Business Saturday encourages holiday shoppers to patronize brick-and-mortar businesses both small and local.
The first Small Business Saturday held in Roslindale Village, Mass., was sponsored by American Express, in partnership with the non-profit National Trust for Historic Preservation. The inaugural event was promoted nationwide by a radio and TV advertising campaign. American Express publicized the initiative using social media, advertising and public relations.
The Twitter hashtag #SmallBusinessSaturday has existed since early 2010 and has been used to promote small businesses on any Saturday (not solely that Saturday between Black Friday and Cyber Monday). Additionally, some small-business owners have run marketing specials on the November Small Business Saturday to help capitalize on the boost in foot or online traffic, as most customers in this time period are actively shopping for the holidays.
SBA Administrator: Shop (local) ‘til you drop
Maria Contreras-Sweet, administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), is encouraging all Americans to “shop small” at local businesses and “dine small” at local restaurants and bars as part of Small Business Saturday on Nov. 26.
“Small Business Saturday is about supporting local businesses, the pillars of economic stability and job creation in communities all across America,” said Contreras-Sweet.
This year marks the seventh Small Business Saturday, an annual celebration of America’s small business community coordinated by SBA in partnership with American Express, Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) and others. On Small Business Saturday 2015, more than 95 million Americans spent a combined $16.2 billion at independent neighborhood retailers and restaurants – often purchasing locally-sourced and unique handmade gifts for loved ones or “dining small” at their favorite local eatery.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the heart of our communities,” Contreras-Sweet added. “These small businesses have been responsible for creating two out of every three net new jobs in the U.S.”
Post your photos, show your support or follow along on social media with @MCS4biz, @SBAGov, #SmallBizSat, #ShopSmall, #DineSmall. For more details, visit www.sba.gov/SmallBusinessSaturday and for a full listing of the Small Business Saturday Coalition members, visit www.shopsmall.com/SUPPORTERS.