“People across America see their support for Shop Small Saturday to be simply “the right thing to do” and are largely unaware of the specific socio economic reasons. But you catch on quickly when you put a face on it like Carol Bates, the 62 year old restaurant owner in Madeira Beach Florida.”
Small Business Saturday has grown to become an American shopping holiday held on the Saturday after U.S. Thanksgiving. First observed on November 27, 2010, it is a counterpart to Black Friday, which is all about big box retail and e-commerce stores. By contrast, Small Business Saturday encourages holiday shoppers to patronize brick and mortar businesses that are small and local.
As this shopping holiday approaches and we begin to make our gift giving choices being compelled to divert our dollars to small and local businesses, some may ask themselves why; but, “I know its the right thing to do”.
Most people understand the impact for keeping dollars in the local economy, supporting your community well-being, big box competition, and the job and wages issues. But many see their support to be simply “the right thing to do” and are unaware of those underlying reasons.
While there are many socio economic reasons behind why you should be supportive of this holiday event, the importance becomes very clear when its personalized by putting a face on the cause with insight to real people who you are supporting.
A daunting responsibility all small business owners must face at one time or another, is having to deal with unhappy customers who had a bad experience patronizing their business. Carol Bates, the 62 year old owner/operator of Dockside Dave’s, a small restaurant, had to deal with a unhappy experience I had while dining at her establishment back in February 2013.
Carol called my cell phone the next day after the event. She explained that her cook was new, apologized, and offered me a gift certificate that was twice what I had actually spent. I turned down her gift certificate and respectfully accepted a replacement meal. But then Carol explained, “my customers are important to me; because, if you don’t come back I will be unemployed and at 62 I cannot get another job”.
“Local Restaurants are under a lot of pressure from big chains”, say SBA Administrator, Maria Contreras-Sweet. She announced today that the SBA will be extending the Shop Small Saturday Holiday with two additional initiatives #dinesmall and #showusyourmenu calling local and small restaurants to increase hours to take in foot traffic of local shoppers. She’s also inviting restaurants to promote #DineSmall by sharing their special menus for Small Business Saturday Night. Owners and chefs are invited to share their menus on social media using the #ShowUsYourMenu tag.
So as we all start our holiday shopping sprees, please think of Carol and remember why you are supporting small businesses; but, you are also supporting jobs.
America’s Chief Entrepreneur Champion