Every occasion in the DOTY calendar is legitimate, created by either a large organisation, a charity, a president, celebrity or just some average Joe, and in one case Doctor Who. Many of these highly specific and at times rather esoteric celebrations are quite obscure or even a bit silly, such as Pins and Needles Day and Stay Home Because You’re Well Day, which is all fine and dandy but of little consequence to me on a personal level. However, one event that I can really get behind is Small Business Saturday, which this year falls on 29th November (a Saturday, obviously) in the US and 6th December (also a Saturday, unsurprisingly) in the UK.
SBS encourages people to buy from independent businesses, at least for that one day. From market stalls and pop-up traders to more established shops, cafes and bars, this is an excellent chance to fuel your local economy and support the community that’s on your doorstep. I’m not saying you don’t do this already, but chances are that each of us also buys from a corporation, chain store or, more than likely, a large website when we need something like a DVD, book, item of clothing or whatnot. So even if it is just for 24 hours, boycott such places in favour of a business that’s owned by someone in your city. Believe me, it will make a world of difference to them, especially if you rally the troops.
If you’re trying to save money or simply don’t fancy buying anything on that particular Saturday, there are other ways to help small businesses. Spread the word of your favourite shopping spots to friends and through social media, and perhaps you could take a minute to send an email or card to one that has shown you particularly good customer service.
My choice for Small Business Saturday is The English Muse, a coffee and art lounge located down Newland Avenue in my hometown of Hull, East Yorkshire, England. Wherever you may live in the world, Maddy the owner would be delighted if you’d connect with TEM on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and/or Instagram. And thanks to the wonder that is modern technology, namely a Google 360-degree tour, you can even have a look around. (The tour and images used in this post were supplied by Bakehouse Studio, another small business. Double whammy.)
I’d love to hear about a small business that has a special place in your heart. I sometimes miss the comments below, so instead please feel free to tweet me at @sobananapenguin. Here’s to a productive and profitable Small Business Saturday or two for independent traders everywhere!