Study: Businesses Think Big So You Will Shop Small This Thanksgiving

Seventy percent of small-business owners believe Small Business Saturday will be helpful in attracting new business this holiday season, according to a new industry survey that also looked at the strategies small businesses will be taking to maximize customer turnout on the day.

Thanksgiving falls late this year, and with five fewer shopping days before Christmas than last year, small businesses around the country are gearing up for the fourth annual Small Business Saturday on November 30.

According to a new survey released by the National Federation of Independent Business, 70 percent of small-business owners say the day is helpful in attracting new customers. The “Small Business Saturday Insights Survey” also found that to help boost sales, almost 70 percent of small-business owners will offer discounts, 33 percent will offer customers a free gift with a purchase, and about 40 percent will collaborate with other small businesses in their community to promote the day.

“Small-business owners are always looking for new ways to creatively promote their products and services—especially in a tough economy,” Dan Danner, NFIB president and CEO, said in a statement. “Small Business Saturday is a reminder of how important the small-business sector is to our economy and why it’s so important to shop small all year around.”

Eileen McGervey, owner of an Arlinton, Virginia, bookstore, told the Washington Post that she plans to bring in local authors to act as personal shopping aides in her store this Small Business Saturday.

“Having the authors there this year should really give us a boost, because they have a lot of local fans who they’re telling where they are going to be,” said McGervey, who is also planning to offer discounts and raffles to attract more customers.

Created by American Express in 2010, Small Business Saturday generated about $5.5 billion in consumer spending in 2012. Total spending during Thanksgiving weekend last year was an estimated $59.1 billion, according to the National Retail Federation.

Last year, organizations such as the American Booksellers Association capitalized on the day to help their members. ABA, for example, used Small Business Saturday to launch its “Thanks for Shopping Indie” promotion, which offered participating booksellers discounts on certain book titles in exchange for raising awareness for the campaign. After last year’s success, the association announced it will sponsor the promotion again this year beginning on Small Business Saturday.

Does your association promote Small Business Saturday in ways that support your members? Let us know in the comments.


Katie Bascuas

By Katie Bascuas

Katie Bascuas is associate editor of Associations Now. MORE

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