It all comes at you so quickly: One minute, you’re making grocery lists and setting the menu for Thanksgiving, and then, in the blink of an eye, the holiday has arrived, only to be followed by Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday -- and then your tree goes up and Christmas morning is here.
Whether or not that’s your exact experience, we can all likely agree: The holidays are known for flying by.
You know what gets lost in the mix, if you ask us? Small Business Saturday.
Sure, it’s not Christmas or Thanksgiving.
But it matters so much, especially this year, with so many small businesses still struggling.
And we said what we said: Of all the major shopping events you hear about in connection with the holiday season, we’re not sure this particular Saturday gets enough love. So let’s help out.
We thought we’d provide five simple ways you can get involved and give your favorite local companies some recognition -- and possibly even a financial boost. Ready to lean in?
1. It’s simple, really. Get out there!
Well, we just told you that Small Business Saturday is almost here: this year, it’s Nov. 26. Now you know, so you have no excuse. Hit the stores! Or shop online, if you’re more comfortable in that space. Recruit a friend or ask a relative to join you. Even if you can’t make a full day of it; a quick trip out, or grabbing some carryout -- and every penny spent, really -- absolutely counts.
Even if it’s just an errand or two, we’re willing to bet your local business owners would appreciate it. (And that goes for this Saturday and always).
2. Tell your friends.
You could make it a group outing, if you’re into the idea.
Perhaps there’s a collective way that you and your friends or family could each pick up takeout from a local business, or plan some sort of collaborative effort.
Knock out some of the gifts on your holiday list, and post about it on social media. Word of mouth is huge.
3. Speaking of word of mouth …
When you’re done, write a review!
Even just tweeting or posting on your Facebook News Feed about your favorite workout class, restaurant or salon could be immensely helpful.
Be sure to tag or @ the business you frequent. Yelp is a great resource as well, and writing about your experience doesn’t have to mean penning a novel. It only takes a few minutes of your time to make a difference for a small company that you adore.
Reviews are SO valuable to business owners.
4. Check out Kickstarter.
A lot of people launch their businesses here. So if you have a second, peruse the site. And hey, if you see a cool idea, consider donating. Everyone had to get his or her start somewhere, right?
5. If you own or are closely connected to a small business, lift up another one you love.
This one is self-explanatory, really, but it’s good karma. Plus, your network will grow and you never know what could help you, in turn, bring in more customers.
One final thing: When you shop local, your money is more likely to stay in the community.
“Buying local keeps the money in your neighborhood -- $68 of every $100 spent at a local independent store is reinvested in the community versus $43 with a larger retailer,” the website Community Business Finance said.
Black Friday can be fun too, but if you’d like to be thoughtful about where your money is going, Small Business Saturday provides a great chance -- and serves as a reminder to support those around you.