It all comes at you so quickly: one minute, you’re making grocery lists and setting the menu for Thanksgiving, and then in the blink of an eye, the day has arrived, only to be followed by Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday -- and then your tree goes up and Christmas morning is here.
Whether or not that’s your exact experience, we can all likely agree: the holidays are known for flying by.
You know what gets lost in the mix, if you ask us? Small Business Saturday.
Of all the major shopping events you hear about in connection with the holiday season, we’re not sure this particular Saturday gets enough love.
So we thought we’d provide five simple ways you can get involved and give your favorite community companies some recognition -- and possibly even a financial boost. Ready to lean in?
It’s simple, really. Get out there!
Well, we just told you that Small Business Saturday is almost here: this year, it’s Nov. 30. Now you know, so you have no excuse. Hit the stores! Recruit a friend or relative to join you. Even if you can’t make a full day of it -- a quick trip out, and every penny spent, absolutely counts.
Swing by some stores, or even a store. Even if it’s just an errand or two, we’re willing to bet your local business owners would appreciate it. (This Saturday and always).
Bring your friends or tell your friends.
If you do have some time on your hands, it might be fun to put together a little outing.
Grab lunch at your favorite locally owned eatery, knock out some of the gifts on your holiday list, and post about it on social media. Word of mouth is huge. When you’re out at the shops, talk to the workers or owner or make a new connection. You never know how networking or meeting a fresh face might benefit you or that person.
Speaking of word of mouth …
When you’re done, write a review!
Even just tweeting or posting on your News Feed about your favorite workout class, restaurant or salon could be immensely helpful. Be sure to tag or @ the business you frequent. Yelp is a great resource as well, and writing about your experience doesn’t have to mean penning a novel. It only takes a few minutes of your time to make a difference for a small company that you adore.
Reviews are SO valuable to business owners.
Check out Kickstarter.
A lot of people launch their businesses here. So if you have a second, peruse the site. And hey, if you see a cool idea, consider donating. Everyone had to get his or her start somewhere, right?
If you own or are closely connected to a small business, lift up another one you love.
This one is self-explanatory, really, but it’s good karma. Plus, your network will grow and you never know what could help you, in turn, bring in more customers.
When you shop local, your money is more likely to stay in the community.
“Buying local keeps the money in your neighborhood -- $68 of every $100 spent at a local independent store is reinvested in the community versus $43 with a larger retailer,” the website Community Business Finance said.
Black Friday can be fun too, but if you’d like to be thoughtful about where your money is going, Small Business Saturday provides a great chance -- and serves as a reminder to support those around you.