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Small Business Saturday: How to Get Involved

I’m sure that I don’t need to tell any of you what Black Friday is. But how many of our lovely readers have heard of Small Business Saturday? Small Business Saturday falls the Saturday after Black Friday, and encourages the patronage of small, local businesses.

On its third official year, Small Business Saturday is anything but small. The movement is

That’s a lot of money flooding back into our communities.

So whether you’re business owner or shopaholic, it’s time to get involved. And here’s how.

For small business owners
Head on over to the official Small Business Saturday Official Facebook Page to get started. There are dozens of resources available for helping promote your company.

  • Twitter is giving away $100 in free ads*
  • American Express is offering free printable signage and e-marketing materials
  • Facebook page has tutorials for setting up a social media presence

After that, Small Business Saturday urges owners to create an offer. Whether that’s a coupon, special deal, door buster pricing, or

giveaways is up to each individual owner. Participating in Small Business Saturday will help drive traffic to your business – creating a special offer with help drive even more.

Then hit the ground running with your social media. Make sure that you have a presence on Facebook and Twitter, and if you have the time, create a short video for YouTube. If you don’t have a Facebook business page yet, now’s the time to make one. Even if you don’t reach hundreds of fans by Small Business Saturday, you can still reach current and new clients.

small business saturday 2012

Small is the new big.

For consumers

You can also start on the official Facebook page. You can pledge to shop small and post it to your Facebook wall. Tweet about it! This will inform your friends and encourage them to participate, too.

And just in case you have no idea which of your local businesses you’d like to patronize that day, just head to the Shop Small website, type in your zip code, and the site will show you popular small businesses in the area.

Businesses, make full use of your social media and local advertising to keep sales going through the end of the year. If you’re a non-retail brand that doesn’t need Small Business Saturday to drive business, then put up a flyer to encourage your clients to shop local. Not only will you feel great for supporting your community, but your brand image will skyrocket.

Consumers, once you find exciting new items at your local businesses, talk about them on social media. Not only will you give your local business and shout out, but your friends might be looking for a similar present.

So on Saturday, November 24, shop small and local. Until then, start spreading the news and create buzz around your community. The only wrong way to promote Small Business Saturday is to not promote Small Business Saturday.

Have you heard about Small Business Saturday before? Are you planning on participating?

*No surprise, some exclusions apply. But they aren’t too bad and the deal is still pretty sweet!



Bubba is the Quality Logo Products mascot. He may have started out as "just a stress ball," but he's come a long way since the company's launch in 2003. Bubba has been immortalized in numerous vector artwork designs for internal and external promotions, and you can see him change outfits on the Quality Logo Products homepage whenever a holiday rolls around. Oh, and he thinks pants are for the birds. You can connect with Bubba on


  1. Ellyn Gilmore

    $68 dollars out of every $100 goes back into the community. Now that is a statistic that I can be proud of when I go shopping Saturday!! And it will make me feel better since you usually have to spend a little bit more to buy at small business. I had never heard of this before this year I have actually seen quite a few commercials promoting it. I think its a great idea because with the economy the way it is right now, we should all do our part to support small businesses who hire locally and not overseas. Can’t wait to find some good deals!

    My favorite places to shop especially for unique gifts for the holidays is in Geneva. The downtown has amazing little shops and you can find something for everyone on your list. (That is probably where I’ll be headed this weekend!!)

    One more thought: Wouldn’t it be amazing if Small Business Saturday became bigger then Black Friday?? Think of all the jobs it could produce!!

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      I was absolutely blown away when I read that so much money goes back directly into communities! If it means that someone gets to keep their job, it’s absolutely worth the extra money to buy a fun and unique present from a local store.

      I love shopping at all the small business in Galena, but since that’s a pretty hefty drive (and will probably be packed), I’ll just try my luck in downtown Downers Grove.

    • JPorretto

      Geneva!! Ahh… my home town. Ellyn is totally right, I’ve been in pretty much every downtown store and they’re almost all great! They even got all new retro signs after they filmed a scene from “Road to Perdition” there.

      • amy

        I didn’t know “Road to Perdition” was filmed there!! Wow! I always think it’s cool when I watch “Field of Dreams” and recognize downtown Galena 🙂

  2. amy

    Last year I heard of Small Business Saturday, and I’m so glad it was a success and they’re bringing it back 🙂

    I love visiting downtowns where all that’s there are local shops. My sister’s place in Iowa has a beautiful downtown that we can spend hours walking around, despite it only being a few blocks big. I’ve always found that the sales people are in better moods (either because they’re the actual owner or they genuinely love the store and/or products) and their offerings are so much more unique.

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      I appreciate the convenience of big box stores, but there’s no substitute for the shopping atmosphere of local stores. You’re right, the sales people are ALWAYS in a better mood and so much more helpful. I always feel less buyer’s remorse after spending tons of money in small, local businesses. 🙂

  3. Rachel

    Hadn’t heard of this shopping holiday until a few weeks ago, but it’s a pretty cool idea! Anything that helps out small businesses is a good thing.

    On Saturday, though, I probably will be helping my folks get ready for the big extended family Thanksgiving party happening the following day, so no shopping for me. 🙁 Although, the grocery store we frequent is a non-chain small business–so there you go! I guess I will be celebrating the holiday after all. 🙂

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      Yay! The independent grocery stores need just as much love as local retail stores! 🙂 I’ll be hitting up all kinda of small businesses by my house and in Chicago that night – I can’t wait!

  4. Jen

    Small Business Saturday is such a great idea, and it’s astounding how much money goes back into the community! I will make it a point to shop small and local this Saturday.

    Thanks for the heads up Mandy!

  5. Eric

    You’re talking to a guy who’s all about supporting the mom ‘n pop joints whenever he’s the opportunity. I love those small-town downtown areas.

    Downtown La Grange is another great one(in addition to the ones mentioned above) that has a great vibe and some neat shops. And a Chipotle, too…if you need any more motivation to get yourself there. 🙂

  6. Myrtle

    Come on down to Naperville!!!

  7. Cybernetic SAM

    I wish I were more of a shopper! This really kind of inspires me to be a little shop savvy. I am all about keeping it little and local so this is really neat! I am glad there is so much outreach from larger corporations (i.e. Amex, FedEx) to help get this going! This was a great post thanks for sharing!!!

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      Not a problem, Sam! I’m glad you found it useful. I’m definitely going to shop small on Small Biz Saturday! And I do think it’s great that large corporations are reaching out to partner with smaller ones!

  8. Mikey

    This is definitely an idea I can support. Local stores need all the support they can get, especially in this day and age. Heh, sadly, there is a bit of a limit on what truly “local” stores I can shop at. Bristol has a bar (The Bristol Tap, with some of the best burgers you’ll ever have!), a grade school, and a post office. And …yeah, that’s it; nothing else. Heh, well, I suppose I can load up on burgers! In any event, this is definitely an awesome idea. Thanks for the informative article!

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      Okay, then. For Small Business Saturday you can load up on burgers and then go mail a letter. The post office might not be a small business, but it could still use the help! 🙂

  9. Eric

    I think it helps to have someone truly, personally – if not literally, altogether – invested in a business. When their sales determine what they’re able to put in their cart at the grocery store? They don’t have a choice but to care. That gets lost in translation when it comes to “Big Box,” chain stores, and rightfully so…if that employee at Wal-Mart manages to sell someone an item at a high price bracket, the employee doesn’t see any return from that sale. And – if for no other reason but that alone – I not only like, but prefer small businesses. And if they happen to cost a little more? I’d say it’s always well worth it.

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      I think that’s the most eye-opening statistic from all of Small Business Saturday’s adage: Out of ever $100, $68 goes back into the community. Almost 70%! That’s incredible.

      No matter how much a big box store stresses its customer service, it still doesn’t live up to the personal touch and insight of small businesses!

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