The 4th Annual Small Business Saturday (SBS) on Nov. 30., which will be falling on the Saturday between "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday,” serves as the official kickoff for the holiday shopping season for small businesses by calling on consumers to go out and "shop small." Leimert Park Village is one of South Los Angeles’ well-known SBS communities and a hub for black dollars. The area features shops ranging from authentic African wares, art and clothing stores.
With five fewer shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, many small business owners say they’ll be pulling out all of the stops to get customers into stores during the critical holiday shopping season. According to the second annual SBS Insights Survey, released by the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) and American Express, more independent merchants will feel the Christmas creep as they start their promotional activity earlier than last year.
For the first time this year, NFIB is working with American Express (AMEX), along with the National Urban League and the Black Chamber of Commerce, in launching a multicultural outreach campaign to engage African American audiences with SBS, as AMEX recognizes the significant impact African American business owners have on the economy.
Black-owned firms have seen higher growth rates than other ethnic firms in the past decade, particularly in employment--an important fact, as many small businesses hire extra employees from within their communities during the holiday season. Black consumer buying power is anticipated to reach $1.1 trillion by 2015; by participating in SBS and using the resources available through the program, Black business owners can tap into this market during the largest shopping season of the year and further sustain the economic vitality of their community.
Findings from the survey also uncover the lengths to which small businesses are ready to go to promote their activities on SBS. Among those that plan to incorporate SBS into their holiday promotions:
• 75% say the day would be more effective if communities participated together by hosting events;
• 39% are planning to collaborate with other small businesses in a community event to promote SBS and
• 33% rely on social media most to promote Small Business Saturday to their customers.
The SBS Insights Survey was created to provide a window into holiday planning for small business owners. Other key survey findings relating to SBS activities include:
• 67% will offer discounts on specific items or general discounts on the day;
• 36% will offer coupons for future offers or discounts;
• 32% are starting their holiday promotions earlier than last year; and
• 21% are planning to increase the number of employees working on Small Business Saturday.
Saturday, November 30, will be a special day for small retailers in the Leimert Park area. Stores will greatly welcome community support with holiday shopping. Leimert Park Village businesses want the community to know they are still alive, active and kicking.
For many of the small business owners who are aware of SBS, the day will be a part of their promotional calendar. Of those small business owners incorporating SBS into their holiday plans, 70% say SBS will be helpful in attracting new customers.
"My hope is that by supporting small businesses and celebrating business owners, we can continue to increase the economic contribution of minority-owned firms and, through them, grown the economy," says Michelle Thompson-Dolberry, an AMEX Open Executive and Small Business Saturday Spokesperson.