Shopping Small Leads to Big Ideas for Associations

How some associations are taking part in Small Business Saturday, an American Express initiative in its third year.

Those who dread the malls on Black Friday have a much simpler alternative in Small Business Saturday, held this year on November 24.

Started by American Express in 2010, the national initiative encourages shoppers to buy from local businesses to boost the economy and keep local retailers thriving. And it’s working: More than 67 percent of Americans who know about Small Business Saturday are planning to “shop small” this weekend, according to the Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey.

Associations across the country are taking part, either by distributing marketing collateral for the promotion or spreading the word via their social networks. But some are getting a little more creative.

Check out how some associations are bringing Small Business Saturday into their own initiatives:

The American Booksellers Association (ABA) will use Small Business Saturday to kick off its first multi-publisher promotion, “Thanks for Shopping Indie,” which runs through Dec. 1. According to the website, participating bookstores are offering a little something extra to their customers to thank them for their support during the holiday season. The benefit for members is a promotional, discounted price on 10 titles from around 60 picks of both children and adult books. To boost the promotion, members are required to post up “Thanks for Shopping Indie” signage and raise awareness for the initiative through their social media channels.

In Jefferson City, Missouri, small businesses in the area are pairing up with local business associations and Start Up Jeff City to makes things a little easier for wandering shoppers. The city plans to have special sales and giveaways, a grand prize drawing, and free trolley transportation around the city.

And in an act of real holiday cheer, the National Federation of Independent Business promises to promote every single business that submits an answer to an easy question: Why should shoppers choose your store? NFIB plans to blast the promotion’s participant messages to its site visitors, 150,000+ Facebook fans, and more than 30,000 Twitter followers, all for free.

What is your association doing to promote Small Business Saturday? Tell us all about your plans in the comments.

(Small Business Saturday/American Express)

Chloe Thompson

By Chloe Thompson

Chloe Thompson is a contributing writer to Associations Now. MORE

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