Supporting Small Businesses on Saturday (and Every Day)

By Haley Bass | 11/24/2017

There are about 28 million small businesses in America—accounting for 54% of all U.S. sales and 55% of all jobs.1 After the holiday bustle of Thanksgiving and the crazy rush of Black Friday, the U.S. supports local businesses on Small Business Saturday. This movement started in 2010 when multiple companies supporting small businesses saw an opportunity to increase awareness of the growth of small business and their contributions to the local community.

In 2015, more than 95 million people turned out to shop small businesses on Small Business Saturday – creating an economic boom for small businesses, and their employees. As an employer, there are many ways you can support small businesses in your community.

Partner with small businesses

Developing a partnership with a small business that matches your brand and beliefs can be a game changer. Small businesses can have an innovative, trendy image, which can help reduce the perception of stiffness and bureaucracy that can be associated with large corporations. Likewise, small businesses can build more credibility by partnering with a proven, trusted larger company.

Joining a local business coalition is great for extending your network, sharing and trading resources, and increasing credibility. By developing relationships with other businesses in the community, you’re opening doors to untapped markets and branding your company as collaborative. A local business coalition ties your company name to an organization dedicated to improving the community’s economy.

Another way to partner with small businesses is to support community programs and initiatives together. If there’s a local non-profit whose efforts align with both business’s values, working together to promote that non-profit can benefit all involved. Utilize each other’s resources and markets to make a difference in the community.

Shop Local

Shopping locally doesn’t just mean getting your Christmas presents from the mom-and-pop boutique down the street. Think about all the services that your business uses on a regular basis. Could any of them be done by local companies? When your money goes to a local business, you’re strengthening the economic base of the community.

If you work in the restaurant industry, consider buying local produce. You benefit small business by purchasing their goods--but you’re also able to advertise the “locally sourced produce” to foodies. If you regularly print sales collateral, consider working with a local print shop rather than a large corporation. If your company doesn’t do in-house marketing, consider local options. Use small design firms and local freelancers for content.

You can also encourage others to shop local by featuring local goods as a special addition to your own. For example, a car servicing business can offer a discount to a local car wash when customers get an oil change. When the services complement each other rather than compete, everybody wins. The larger business helps improve the local community, and the smaller business increases its customer base.

Promote your services to small businesses

Many small business owners are too busy running their business to be aware of all the different options available to them. But you can help to ease their burden by marketing to small businesses.

Concentra does its part to support the health care needs of more than 100,000 small businesses nationwide by providing cost-effective, convenient health care. In cities and towns across the country, small businesses partner with Concentra to increase employee productivity and lower their overall health care costs.

While the nation celebrates small businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, there are many ways to support small business all year long.

Resources:
[1] https://www.sba.gov/managing-business/running-business/energy-efficiency/sustainable-business-practices/small-business-trends