Small Business Saturday

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Tomorrow, Newport Beach residents will have a chance to support small businesses in their community, by starting their Christmas shopping on Small Business Saturday.

According to the Small Business Administration, a small business is generally one with fewer than 500 employees doing less than $2.5 in annual sales. And that description defines the majority in Newport Beach or, for that matter, the rest of the state and country since more than 97 percent of all businesses are considered small businesses. American Express in 2010 decided to create day specifically for consumers to support and spend money in all those local stores, and it takes place the day after Black Friday, or Nov. 26 this year. (http://smallbusinesssaturday.com/)

Small Business Saturday is a brilliant move, they have created a viral campaign that is “liked” by 2.1 million Facebook followers, and I am a huge supporter of the movement. AmEx has created signs and e-mail campaigns and offers lots or marketing material to help all small businesses share the word. Even though the intention may appear a bit self-serving, the reality is, the program has generated much publicity for small businesses and for the challenges they face.

So how do you do your part?

On Saturday – assuming you still have money left – try shopping locally for a change. That means:

  • Avoid the large chain stores, i.e., no COSTCO, Wal-mart, K-mart or any other mart out there
  • Stay away from the malls, UNLESS the business is locally owned
  • Franchises are OK as long as they are individually owned and not part of the corporate ownership
  • Buy gifts at some of the local boutiques, clothing stores, privately owned hardware stores or similar, food stores, bakeries, pet stores, wine merchants, and the list goes on and on. Here’s a video that gives you a 1 minute intro: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBJJUWt47rk

At a minimum at least go out to eat at somewhere that is NOT part of a big chain and do your part to keep entrepreneurship and small business alive and thriving.

Small-business owners are more than 97 percent of the business world. Give them your love.

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