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BBB Trends: Be an ‘involved’ shopper, support your local small business on Small Business Saturday

By Sandra Guile
Better Business Bureau

Somewhere in a bustling little store sits that unique, last-minute item that would perfectly round out your holiday shopping list. Small Business Saturday – the day after Black Friday – is a perfect time to stop in and support your local independent business retailers that sell specialized, unexpected pieces.

Local economies and small businesses thrive because of the revenue made during Small Business Saturday. 68 percent of the of the cost of those unique, handmade pieces bought during this event come back to the community through taxes, payroll, and expenditures.

Last year, 95 million people spent an estimated $16 billion at small retail establishments according to a Small Business Saturday (SBS) Consumer Insights Survey. This year, experts are projecting at least $17.8 billion to be spent during this unofficial holiday.

A queue of customers served by two women at a sandwich bar

A queue of customers served by two women at a sandwich bar

Small Business Saturday was started by BBB Accredited business American Express, and BBB supports this event for a variety of reasons. As an advocate of the retail marketplace, BBB encourages shoppers to consider shopping locally. There are 23 million small businesses in the United States that have created 8 million jobs since 1990. They make up approximately 40 percent of all American retail jobs.

The holiday season traditionally provides a boost for small businesses, and many participate in this event in an effort to create relationships with new shoppers. They hope that the sales they make during this time of year translate into returning customers and repeat sales. Many stores have deals centered around Small Business Saturday; to find the stores in your community who are participating, visit shopsmall.org for a list of businesses.

Your local chamber or merchants’ association is also a good resource to find out whether or not there are events related to Small Business Saturday happening in your area. Social media is another tool you can use to find out where the deals are. Many small businesses advertise their sales on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

BBB has contributed to the foundation of small businesses since 1912 by setting standards for business ethics and building trust between buyers and sellers. BBB partners with businesses to help them grow, expand their network, and become leaders in the community.

Before going out on Small Business Saturday, use bbb.org to find trustworthy businesses in your area. Read reviews to see what past customers have to say, and research any sales before you set out. Additional tips to help with your seasonal spending are available on BBB’s Holiday Helper page.

Whether you’re searching for the last thing on your list or are simply supporting your local retailers, BBB encourages shoppers to get involved. Share your shopping experience on social media or on the business’ profile on bbb.org and tell the world why you love your community’s stores.


Sandra Guile is the Community Outreach Specialist for BBB. She promotes BBB’s message of marketplace ethics through public speaking engagements, presentations, media relations, press releases, web content, and other written materials. Contact Sandra at (513) 639-9126 or sguile@cincinnati.bbb.org. Your BBB is located at 1 East 4th Street Suite 600 Cincinnati, Ohio 45202 – to reach the office, call (513) 421-3015.

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