Young Upstarts

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Small Business Saturday – Here To Stay?

Small Business Saturday, a day dedicated to bring attention to small independently owned brick-and-mortar businesses during the shopping season, has come and gone. What was its impact on small businesses in America?

Let’s check out some of the numbers:

  • 1.2 million liked Small Business Saturday on Facebook,
  • More than 100,000 small business owners downloaded point-of-purchase and promotional materials from Small Business Saturday‘s Facebook page,
  • 10,000 small businesses signed up and received free Facebook advertising to promote their products and services in the run up to the event,
  • 130 small business advocate groups, public and private organizations and elected officials declared for Small Business Saturday,
  • 41 elected officials declared November 27, 2010 “Small Business Saturday”, including the governors of Kentucky, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Utah and the mayors of Boston, MA; Boulder, CO; Lincoln, NE; New York City; Phoenix, AZ and Topeka, KS.  See the complete map of states and cities that joined the movement here.
  • Nearly 30,000 tweets were sent using the hashtags #smallbusinesssaturday and #smallbizsaturday, and
  • Small retailers that accept American Express cards saw an estimated 27% increase in sales on the cards this year compared to the Saturday after Thanksgiving in 2009.

Considering that US consumer spending over Black Friday and Thanksgiving this year has been similarly robust, it’s difficult to tell if Small Business Saturday has been a roaring success. There’s also the fact that the numbers provided only covered small retailers who accept American Express cards, although American Express‘ chairman and chief executive officer Kenneth I. Chenault did point out in a statement that small business retailers would have seen spending increases across other forms of payment as well. For an inaugural event though, the support shown for Small Business Saturday is incredibly encouraging, especially in terms of awareness.

We’d like to think that Small Business Saturday is here to stay, and would love to see other parts of the world adopt this day as well to support small local businesses. After all, small is the new big.

Daniel Goh is the founder and chief editor of Young | Upstarts, as well as an F&B entrepreneur. Daniel has a background in public relations, and is interested in issues in entrepreneurship, small business, marketing, public relations and the online space. He can be reached at daniel [at] youngupstarts [dot] com.

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