It’s here — at some point last night, the 2017 holiday shopping season officially arrived, sending deal seekers to malls, big box stores, and Internet-equipped devices everywhere. While I’d say that Black Friday is pretty overrated on the whole, it is understandable why so many consumers might get excited about the annual retail tradition. But did you know that, as of a few years ago, a better, more niche, Black Friday sequel was created? No, I’m not talking about Cyber Monday (which is apparently still a thing) — I’m referring to Small Business Saturday.
First off, yes, Small Business Saturday was created by the credit card company American Express. Despite that somewhat dubious fact, there’s a lot to love about the holiday. For one, it’s a great reminder to support your local businesses and entrepreneurs. Additionally, as the popularity of the day continues to increase, many of these retailers have begun offering some great Small Business Saturday deals.
My inaugural Small Business Saturday experience actually happened back in 2015, a few months after my wife and I moved to Springfield, Missouri. I hadn’t heard of the holiday at the time but had been following a local store called Five Pound Apparel on Facebook that happened to mention it in one of their posts. As a result, we not only ended up checking the store out for the first time on that Saturday but also made our new home state the theme of most of our gift giving that year.
If you’re not familiar with the small businesses in your area, there are a few different ways to find some. First, AmEx has a map you can search, although it’s important to note that not all of the businesses listed may be offering any special promotions. Another way to discover new places is to check social media, where #ShopSmall and #SmallBizSat are frequently used by participants. Of course, you can always just go take a walk around your city’s downtown area or other hotspots and see what you can find as well.
While Black Friday seems to attract the attention of most consumers, perhaps it’s time we changed that. This year, why not support your local business owners, score yourself some great deals, and give your loved ones some unique gifts by skipping Black Friday and spending your money on Small Business Saturday? Who knows — maybe in a few years this superior retailer holiday will come to rule the post-Thanksgiving day weekend.