Small Businesses grow with 10 years of Small Business Saturday
By Tim Jeffcoat, Director, Houston District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration
We all have a role with growing our local economy. You can help! How? SHOP SMALL!
The Saturday after Thanksgiving is known as Small Business Saturday. It is the ideal time to visit your favorite locally-owned restaurants, shops, boutiques, and performing arts venues. Doing this helps grow our local economy, which creates more jobs and opportunities for everyone.
There are over 600,000 small businesses in SBA’s Houston district; 32 counties of Southeast Texas with Houston right in the middle. These businesses provide about 65% of all new jobs and 44% of the nation’s economic output (GDP). Over 99% of all of the businesses in the SBA Houston District are considered small.
This year, the 10th annual Small Business Saturday will be held on November 30th, right between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It is especially important that we all support our local small businesses, and I urge you to join the millions of other Southeast Texans to “shop and dine small” to help your local economy grow! This will enable many local small businesses to create new jobs this holiday season.
Over the last year the SBA approved $924 million in loans to Houston regional area small businesses – which contributed to the support of 24,028 jobs locally in 2018. When we all support small business we create opportunity.
I had the privilege recently to visit several small businesses in the 22nd Congressional District with Rep. Pete Olson. One great example of growth is Frank’s Nursery in Richmond, Texas. Frank’s business is very successful today but, his beginnings were very humble. Frank left his home in Mexico at the age of sixteen to pursue the American Dream. Along the way, he found valuable assistance from the Fort Bend Small Business Development Center (SBDC), an important partner of the SBA. They now offer a wide variety of plants, trees, shrubs, soil, fertilizer, stone, pottery, and sculptures. The nursery also offers landscaping services on a 14 acre site, which was acquired with the help of an SBA guaranteed loan.
(L-R) Fort Bend Small Business Development Center Director Tori Rayne, Central Fort Bend Chamber President Kristin Weiss, Frank’s Nursery Owners Frank and Rosalba Nunez, 22nd Congressional District Rep. Pete Olson, Small Business Administration Houston District Director Tim Jeffcoat, and Deputy District Director Mark Winchester.(SBA Photo/Abigail Gonzalez)
Impact of Small Business Saturday
In 2018, 104 million consumers spent $17.8 billion at local and main street merchants and restaurants on Small Business Saturday. Many consumers said Small Business Saturday inspires them to continue to shop and dine small throughout the year and not just for the holidays.
Among those who shopped on Small Business Saturday, 70 percent helped spread the word by encouraging family and friends.
For Small Business Owners; ten tips this 10th Anniversary of Small Business Saturday:
- Plan a community event. Organize a Small Business Saturday kickoff party with food, drinks, and promotional items to draw shoppers in. Consider special discounts or free offerings for loyal customers. Set up an in-store activity that demonstrates your products or services.
- Partner up. Contact other small businesses in your area and see how you can team up to provide special offers. Consider highlighting a local charity at your business. It’s a great way to embrace the spirit of the season and give back.
- Leverage other local events. Identify other holiday events and determine how your business can participate. This could lead to repeat customers and help you become a bigger part of the community.
- Chat with staff. Before Small Business Saturday, have a meeting with your staff. Reminding them to greet each shopper when they enter and exit your business. Thank them and show appreciation for their work. Making Small Business Saturday a win for your business is a total team effort!
- Promote gift cards. Many holiday shoppers buy gift cards or gift certificates for family and friends, representing a huge opportunity for your small business.
- Stay open longer. Small Business Saturday will most likely be your busiest day of the year. Extending your hours by opening earlier and closing later could have a big impact on sales.
- Do a digital makeover. Check your website, social media accounts, and review sites to make sure all online information about your small business is accurate and up to date. Focus on what you offer, where you’re located, and how customers can contact you.
- Breakout from competitors. As a small business, it’s tough to compete with big box stores. In your marketing efforts, make sure customers know what makes your small business special. This can be a unique product or service or simply creating an inviting space for shoppers. Whatever that may be, communicate it to customers.
- Join the conversation – social media. Promote Small Business Saturday deals and share how you’re preparing your store. Use #ShopSmall on your social media posts to join the overall conversation. Encourage shoppers to snap a selfie and tag your business. This can increase engagement of your posts, potentially reaching new customers.
- Analyze your success. Take a few moments after Small Business Saturday to analyze what worked and what didn’t. This could help shape your strategy for next year.
Join me in supporting and driving Small Business Saturday until the sun goes down on Saturday, Nov. 25 in the Houston-Galveston Regional Area. And remember that “shop small” refers to whom you buy from, and not how much you buy!
About the U.S. Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.
Cosponsorship Authorization #19-2050-93. SBA’s participation in this Cosponsored Activity is not an endorsement of the views, opinions, products or services of any Cosponsor or other person or entity. All SBA programs and services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.