Happy Small Business Saturday shoppers! Today millions of people will help support the small businesses both in their communities and online. One of the best things about purchasing items and services from small businesses is the ability to impact an individual, family, or small group of workers or friends in their efforts to better their lives and follow their dreams.
Though we should keep this method of support in mind for our needs on a regular basis, the spotlight truly shines on Small Business Saturday, aka the Saturday in November following Black Friday and before Cyber Monday. The tradition began thanks to a campaign hosted by American Express in 2010 that helped small businesses gain exposure and encourage shoppers to support their local small businesses. The annual tradition has continued gaining more momentum year after year and has predicted to have earned businesses an addition $120+ Billion over the last decade.
Despite the original practice encouraged people to purchase from local small businesses, online businesses have exploded in the last few years, with many crafters, artists, and designers reaching customers like never before. The COVID-19 pandemic has also put a damper on supply and demand this holiday season, and now more than ever it is important to support small businesses. Looking for a way to make a difference for a small business owner? Here are some tips and tricks for holiday shoppers.
1.) Purchase Gift Cards / Gift Certificates – If supply issues are a major concern buying a gift card or gift certificate can be a wonderful way to show someone you care AND support your local eateries, salons, barbers, crafters, and more!
2.) Hire / Commission Trusted Friends and Family with Small Businesses – We’ve all heard the horror stories of people who cut corners with “I know someone who can do it cheaper” and this is far from what I mean by supporting your friends and families with small buisnesses. What I mean is pay your friends and family their actual worth for their work. They are worth every penny and small business operation costs are more than you think! If your friends kid is working on becoming a digital artist support them and order a commission at price and pay them when you place the order. If your cousin runs a photography business order a holiday photoshoot for your family or as a gift for someone you love. Does your friend work hard on their side hustle to help make ends meet? Don’t talk them down on their work, support them by paying the proper cost for their time and effort. Bonus: You now have a way to help promote them beyond gifting! You will drive business to them by sharing their work AND you’ll have something to mark the 2021 Holiday season. Why not help the people in your life follow their dreams rather than the stock holders of major companies who don’t even know your name?
3.) Support Your Local Small Stores – We all love visiting our local comic or game store, getting a bite to eat at the mom and pop restaurant of brother owned pub, and we all love looking at the window displays of small boutiques and antique shops. How about the next time you visit buy an extra item you’ve been putting off, or pay for a strangers bill, maybe step inside the shops you window shop in and really make a purchase to make a difference. Another great way to support your local small businesses is to bring your friends and family along instead of visiting the big store and franchises you can find anywhere. A bonus to this is you may start a new tradition when your friends or family come into town.
4.) Buy from Small Businesses ALL year long – This should go without saying, but to be honest it’s not always at the forefront of our minds when shopping. Personally, I’ve made it an effort to purchase gifts from small shops for birthdays and holidays. A solid half of the gifts I’m giving this Christmas have come from Etsy shops, and I’m looking to broaden my horizons on the possibilities of where I find small businesses to support. No one is awful for shopping at stores for daily items, but maybe consider supporting small businesses for specific events and holidays than can double as a reminder to shop small business.
How ever you chose to celebrate Small Business Saturday we want to thank you for supporting small businesses like ourselves! If you wish to support our team directly we encourage you to check out the VV Shoppe and Artisans Guild for some excellent TTRPG themed items and clothes. Without you we wouldn’t be able to reach for our dreams and build a better future for our friends, families, and the TTRPG community. Thank you from the entire team here at Variant Ventures for your support!