Thousands of Washingtonians, Oregonians and Alaskans will bypass busy big box retailers to shop local on Nov. 30, 2013 in an effort support small business. A recent National Retail Federation survey states that approximately 61 million Americans plan to shop on Small Business Saturday—a campaign that aims to celebrate and support independent small businesses.
In 2012, U.S. consumers spent $5.5 billion “shopping small,” according to the National Federation of Independent Business and American Express. With a shorter holiday shopping season in 2013, it is likely that gift-seekers will be eagerly hitting main streets across the Pacific Northwest and Alaska over the next few weeks.
Businesses should take proactive steps to get involved:
- Get communities involved by starting conversations and encouraging participation.
- Personalize and download free marketing materials.
- Understand the competitive nature of the marketplace and offer value beyond price—such as friendly service or personal guarantees.
- Subscribe to BBB’s News Center to stay up on current issues facing local small businesses.
Shoppers should make efforts to purchase locally:
Small business are often the ones that donate to local charities, sponsor little league teams and offer the personal touch that their larger counterparts sometimes lack; the success of small businesses is critical to the success of strong communities. Visit akorww.bbb.org for more holiday shopping advice.
- Ask friends, coworkers and family members to recommend local shops.
- Research potential purchases and retailers. Remember, best prices do not always indicate the best value.
- Find participating local vendors here; make a shopping list, establish a budget, map out a route and stick to all of them.