Shopping Small on Small Business Saturday

Brooke Wilensky, Copy Editor

Introduced in 2010 by American Express, Small Business Saturday is a national day to recognize small, local and independent businesses including shops, salons, restaurants and more. 

The day intentionally follows Black Friday to attract customers to small businesses during the holiday season. After its governmental recognition in 2011, Small Business Saturday is recognized all throughout the United States. Events are hosted throughout Miami, and one of the biggest takes place in Coral Gables.

“We do a kickoff event; we would do kind of a stroll and visit with businesses,” Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Mark Trowbridge said. “We might synergize that with other types of activities, but the real key was that it was not just ‘hey, we are kicking off at 10 a.m. and have a great day everybody.’ We just did our best to engage the community.”

Being the first year without the threat of COVID-19, Small Business Saturday returned in 2022 in full force. Attendees participated in person and took part in the events planned. In the past, Coral Gables has had speakers and musical performances.

Businesses are not required to do anything special to participate, but many have sales and in-store events. Some stores give out food, play music and have special deals. Small Business Saturday is just one day a year in which businesses have a large reach to attract new clients and set themselves up for the following year.

“[The benefit of Small Business Saturday] is the immediacy of being able to keep the doors open and folks employed. The long term is constantly reminding the community about the importance of small businesses,” Trowbridge said.

Florida contains almost three million small businesses, making them essential for a successful economy. 

Shops increase inventory and advertising on social media in order to begin preparing for Small Business Saturday well before the event. Additionally, various stores have increased their online presence through websites and social media accounts.

“Our businesses take to bites at that apple, be a part of Small Business Saturday and check out our E-Commerce page on Monday. So, everything we do in our messaging reminds people that you can come and visit the brick and mortar store or you can also shop online,” Trowbridge said.

Since its inception, the revenue from Small Business Saturday has risen considerably. Last year, the occasion made an estimated $23.3 billion. According to a report by BankRate, nearly six out of 10 people planned to shop from small businesses this year. 

American Express continuously puts in a significant amount of effort to support small businesses and encourage others to shop small.