“Shop Small” on November 24th

Small Business Saturday is this coming Saturday, November 24, 2018.  Since it’s inception in 2010, this day, which is always the Saturday after Thanksgiving, has continued to grow in popularity.  Small Business Saturday is a response to big box store’s “Black Friday” and online retailer’s “Cyber Monday”.  Many people do not realize that Small Business Saturday is actually a trademark of American Express.  However, over the past few years other entities, including the Small Business Administration (SBA) have latched onto the concept.  The SBA has begun to offer free resources and ideas for small businesses that are considering participation.  Click here to check out the SBA’s website while there are still a few days left to get prepared.

Unfortunately for American Express, many small businesses do not even accept American Express cards given the higher merchant fees when compared to Visa, MasterCard and Discover.  Studies suggest that American Express cares more about appealing to high income consumers than competing credit card companies.  Coincidentally, higher income consumers shop at small boutique style stores at a significantly higher rate than lower income customers.  Thus, it’s surprising that the company has not been more friendly to small businesses which generally have less sales volume and lower revenue per transaction than larger retailers.  So, to increase their own market share, and frankly to do the right thing for small businesses, SBCO challenges American Express to lower their merchant fees.  At the very least, the company should consider decreasing their fees on Small Business Saturday.

Regardless of whether you pay with cash, card or check, find out whether your favorite small businesses are participating in the shopping holiday.  And if not, find one that you have not yet visited and go shopping or eat and drink.  Use this tool to find a new small business and “shop small”.  If you are a small business owner or operator, ensure that your business is open this coming Saturday and promote that you will be open.  Use as many social media platforms as possible in which to inform your followers of any events, specials, products or services that you will be featuring.  Finally, strongly encourage your customers to tag your business on their own social media by sharing pictures and using relevant hashtags so others can see their positive experience.  SBCO wishes all small businesses the best this holiday season!