A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

BBB: Shopping local on Small Business Saturday — Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday on the way

As Black Friday is behind us, there’s still Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday.

It’s more important than ever to support local businesses who still suffer from the hard hit of the pandemic, staffing shortages, and rising prices.

According to the 2021 Small Business Consumer Insights Survey, Small Business Saturday has reached an estimated $23.3 billion in sales since its inception by American Express in 2010 as a response to that year’s recession.

BBB President Judy Dollison highlights the importance of shopping small and the many ways it can be done: “When you shop small, you’re not only helping the business by throwing it a lifeline, you’re also supporting the community of businesses behind it.” 

This includes printers, painters, suppliers like artisans and farmers, marketing firms, agencies, and more.

“Consumers looking for that perfect gift or some self-indulgence can shop for not only items, but also services like salon and spa services, car maintenance, gym and museum memberships, and even food delivery subscriptions.

“When more people shop local, we all see the benefits. It creates excitement and hometown pride – and tells our community we support it.”

So whether shopping online or at a retail store, BBB offers shopping tips to support local by shopping small.

‘Shopping Small’ on Small Business Saturday

• Get involved. Many communities are hosting special events to celebrate and support the businesses that make your hometown unique. Find out what local events are happening on the Small Business Saturday website, or visit local chambers of commerce or merchants’ associations.

• Sign-up for email alerts. Save a few dollars on holiday budgets by signing up for Small Business Saturday email specials offered by the local merchants. Keep in mind, consumers will probably get additional deals throughout the year, not just during the holidays.

• Research the shops. Find out what past customers have to say by reading reviews online, such as those on BBB.org, and learn what shops are participating by going to ShopSmall.org.

• Connect with businesses on social media. Many small businesses will advertise their sales via social media. Use #ShopSmall to search on social media platforms for information and share activities.

• Invite your friends and family. Turn this shopping event into a “friends and family” extravaganza! Visit favorite local stores or explore a new one. Take time to get to know the business owners and local community officials, and get a head start on the holidays while enjoying time with loved ones.

• Don’t just shop small, eat small. Many people think that shopping at local retail stores is the only way to participate. However, small independently owned restaurants, bakeries, and coffee shops would love to invite in new customers while they’re out and about.

• Share your experience. Take a selfie at a favorite small business. Share it on social media with the hashtags #BBB and #ShopSmall to tell the world you’re a big fan of small businesses. Leave a review on BBB.org – these shops are open all year as well.

Count on BBB to help you “Shop Safe, Shop Smart.” More tips are available at BBB.org/holiday-tips.

Learn more about avoiding scam social media ads when shopping online. Report bad ads to BBB AdTruth.

Receiving packages from Amazon that you didn’t order? See our article on Amazon brushing scams.

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