Small Business Saturday is only two weeks away. For those of you who might not have heard of this relatively new phenomenon, Small Business Saturday falls on the Saturday after Thanksgiving and was first observed in 2010. Still going strong after five years, this shopping day was set aside to directly encourage consumers to shop at small, locally owned businesses, rather than big box and chain retailers as they do on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This year, Small Business Saturday is on 11/29.
The shopping day was originally created by American Express. Therefore, cardholders can claim up to 3, $10 credits to their American Express cards by registering their cards and shopping at participating small businesses on that day. Registration opens at midnight 11/15 (that's tonight - but in mountain time - so do the conversion for your time zone). Registration is limited, so make sure to register early if you're interested in this part of participation.
Even if you don't want to register your card, if you haven't yet finished (or even started) your Christmas shopping. I would encourage you just go out into your neighborhood and SHOP LOCAL. Small business owners need our support, so let's do what we can to support them.
Make your list for gift ideas (and check it twice just like Santa would do), but be open to changing your mind if a local shop has a unique gift idea that you hadn't even though of. With your list in hand, head out the door for a full day of shopping. Here are some ideas for a fun day of errands AND shopping:
Take your dog to the local groomer. Give them your spouse's telephone number to call when he's ready. You have now shopped local, run an errand, and don't have the responsibility of picking your dog up from the groomer. ;-)
Visit the local thrift store to see what treasures they have. (I bet vintage decorations and ornaments this time of year!) You are shopping local and scoring some awesome vintage finds! These beauties need a home for the holidays too.
Visit all types of shops to see what sorts of treasures await. You might not buy something in every shop, or you might only pick up stocking stuffers, but it's nice to get to know your neighbors and you might also be surprised to find the perfect gift at a store that you would never have thought to shop at before.
Place card holders for the Perpetual Hostess on your list?
A Santa alarm clock for the Christmas Lover on your list?
Old fashioned ribbon candy for stocking stuffers?
And if you're REALLY thinking outside of the big box, don't forget that shopping small means supporting your local crafters. And sometimes those folks can be found online via Etsy as well as locally. So don't forget to seek them out too!
Before you head home, buy cupcakes from the local bakery. Bring them home to share them with your family because it's the nice thing to do after you've been gone all day. :-)