You’ve seen the signs proclaiming the first Saturday after Thanksgiving “Small Business Saturday“ but do you know why? Do you know why a day has been set aside to encourage local shopping?
Small Business Saturday
You can be a part of the crowd. You can still have that hustle and bustle of holiday shopping. But when you shop on Small Business Saturday, there’s a fun little bonus: you get to be a part of people shopping for the greater good. They are using their wallets to say, “I stand for small business.” Hopefully, it’s a move that they, and you, will continue throughout the year.
After Little Indiana began, I started to see what was really out there, I knew that I wanted a change. I no longer wanted my home to be able to match that of the person next door, across the street, and across the country. I decided that I was only going to bring things into our home that meant something to me. I didn’t want to just buy a table to go in our kitchen as an island. I waited until I found the perfect vintage piece at an antique shop in North Salem (and a conversation table for the entryway as well). When I use that table, I am reminded of how much fun we had on a cold, snowy day.
It’s no longer just a thing. It is a part of our story. We have slowly furnished our 1901 Victorian with items that have meaning. Would you like a brief rundown to see how serious I am about all of this? In our living room, the fireplace mantel was a Remington antique shop score. My plant stand came from the Canal Days Festival in Cambridge City and is topped with a fern that I picked up from the side of the road. Someone was throwing it away! What! My bookshelf once belonged to my grandparents and is filled with Indiana books or books by Indiana authors, and plenty from Indiana University Press, too.
Art sits on easels, shelves, and hangs from the wall. My pieces range from Danville, Corydon, Chesterton, Kirklin, and the hope to obtain a piece I love from a gal over at the Art Sanctuary in Martinsville. My own photos occupy wall space here and there throughout our house, visually displaying our travels. We have furniture from Scottsburg, North Salem, Rensselaer, Lafayette, and Cambridge City, and tchotchkes from Kirklin, Danville, Bloomington, Arcadia, and Greenwood. All locally owned.
I don’t care to have my home resemble those of the fancy magazines. We want our house to reflect where we have been and what we have done. I love when I am walking through a room, glance at something, and remember that trip all over again. I shop at small businesses so that my home can also have an identity and so I can build relationships in my town–and mourn their loss when they close altogether. When I saw the former employee of my favorite butcher store after it closed, I couldn’t help but ask about her daughter’s wedding. These are the things that bind communities together.
A Brief History of Small Business Saturday
I am not alone. Since you are here on this site, reading about things to do in Indiana, I assume that you, like me, understand why it is so important to keep our money local.
Credit card giant American Express knew that small businesses had the same complaint across the board: they needed more customers. In a good move for a credit card company, they threw their weight behind a day that promotes shopping locally, a day that encourages people to approach the holiday season in a different way, while providing small businesses with materials to help promote it. The year? 2010.
One year later, it became a thing. A really BIG thing! The US Senate officially recognized Small Business Saturday. In 2012, the Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, showed that 73.9 million people went out and shopped small that day.
Last year, in 2014, a National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and American Express shared the results from the Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey. A whopping 88 million people shopped small! An estimated 14.3 BILLION dollars was spent that day. If only we could do that every day.
Free Printable for Small Business Saturday
The same applies to my gift giving. Why would I give someone who means something to me, something that lacks any meaning? We have all received things that could have been picked up and purchased anywhere. It’s just not the same.
Big box is never the answer. You will always be frustrated with the customer service and the lines or the cleanliness of the restrooms. Once upon a time, when I was young, I worked for a big box retailer (home stores mostly). I can tell you tales of how people were treated or, rather, mistreated. I had to work one Thanksgiving when I was in college–and it was for a large chain video store! Did I have customers? HA! I had two or three people pop in to ask for directions. My family didn’t live nearby. There was no going home for the holidays.
Is that the kind of work culture that I want to buy into? Is that what I want for my kids? Absolutely not. If a small business owner chooses to work the day themselves, that is one thing, but when a corporation makes me work, while the higher ups get to sit at home…that’s another thing entirely.
Some of you are still enjoying a few of my other free printables. I know, my printable-making is pretty few and far between. But, hey, when the muse strikes, I make sure to get it done–and share it. Feel free to print these as needed. I have made two versions, a solid color version and a full-color image version. Choose the one that works best with your printer. I highly recommend photo paper or the use of a photo printing service.Download the FREE Small Business Saturday Printable SOLID Version Download the FREE Small Business Printable Image Version Part 1 Download the FREE Small Business Saturday Printable Image Version Part 2 Download the FREE Small Business Saturday Printable Image Version Part 3 Download the FREE Small Business Saturday Printable Image Version Part 4 Download the FREE Small Business Saturday Printable Image Version Part 5
Viva Small Business Saturday
Join the revolution. Think outside the [big] box. Small businesses have gifting opportunities all around you. Take advantage of special sales and open house events to save even more. Follow up with these businesses on their social networking accounts. Many offer surprise pricing all year long.
Consider family video stores, like Movie Madness in DeMotte, when you need a video game or DVD to give as a gift (they have new and used–and do special orders, FAST). Try local coffee shops for teachers, administrative assistants, mail carriers, or sanitation workers gifts like coffee, tea, or gift cards. Pop into an area art gallery for a more personal gift a close friend or family member will appreciate all year long.
Share that you are also shopping small by joining in on the Small Business Saturday Facebook Event page. Small businesses can still carry the every day things you need. It might mean an extra errand or two, but what is the cost if you take the easy way out?
Small Towns: Destinations, not Drive-Thrus! I’m Jessica Nunemaker and THIS is little Indiana!
Just don’t forget to tell ’em that little Indiana sent you!
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