Five tips to help California shops and restaurants succeed on Nov. 26 — Small Business Saturday

As chain stores and online retailers launch their holiday sales earlier and earlier in the season, Black Friday will not have the appeal it once did. But Small Business Saturday keeps getting bigger and bigger. This year, Small Business Saturday falls on Nov. 26.

Last year, spending at independent retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday reached an estimated $23.3 billion, up 18 percent from $19.8 billion the year before and a substantial increase from the $19.6 billion spent in 2019, according to a survey by American Express and the National Federation of Independent Business.

“For some small businesses, the holiday season is the make-or-break time of the year,” said John Kabateck, NFIB’s California state director. “A good season of sales can keep the doors open and people employed going into 2023. Additionally, there’s the added joy of reacquainting yourself with the local small businesses in your area, where you’re more likely to find unique items, customer service, and product expertise than you will at a big-box retailer. Small businesses have never had so much hit them. The scars of COVID still exist, compounded by inflation, a historic inability to find qualified workers, supply-chain disruptions, and the everyday struggle of operating in one of the nation’s more highly regulated and taxed states. We should all be doing everything we can on Small Business Saturday — and every day, for that matter — to help these businesses that have always been there for us, creating jobs, supporting local teams and schools, and helping to grow the local economy.”

Small Business Saturday began in 2010 when many Main Street businesses were struggling to recover from the Great Recession. Since then, it has become one of the biggest shopping days of the year, an opportunity for people to support the small, independent businesses that make their communities healthy.

Here are some of the ways shops and restaurants can make the most of Small Business Saturday

  • Stay on top of your social media.If you’re on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or Pinterest, post often and promote any Small Business Saturday deals. Use the hashtags #ShopSmall and #SmallBizSat so shoppers can find you easily.
  • Showcase merchandise that would make a great gift.Group items on a table with a sign saying it would be the perfect gift for mom or grandparents, for example. Restaurants can offer Small Business Saturday specials and gift cards.
  • Offer doorbusters.Chain stores know a great way to drive shoppers to their stores is by offering exclusive deals at different times of the day. There’s no reason a small business can’t do the same thing.
  • Partner with nearby businesses.Pool your resources to buy advertising promoting the neighborhood as a shopping destination or team up with other merchants on in-store promotions. For example, if someone buys a shirt at one shop, tell them about the great deal on shoes next door.
  • Don’t forget to tell your regular customers about Small Business Saturday.Put a sign in your shop and flyers in bags reminding folks to come back the Saturday after Thanksgiving for exclusive deals.