Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Small Business Saturday, coming this weekend, needs to have rural angles

We're not sure if Small Business Saturday, coming up this weekend, is all that rural a phenomenon, but it needs to be. Way too many small-town businesses have closed because customers flocked to the nearest Wal-Mart or other big-box store, looking for the cheapest price, and also spent time shopping at the businesses that pop up around such stores. Many of those are small businesses, but what we like to see is busy traffic (pedestrian and vehicular) in the business districts of small towns, so Small Business Saturday should be an aid for them.

The effort includes a long-
term shop-at-home campaign.
The observance "was started as a reaction to the excesses of Black Friday, which almost entirely benefit major chain retailers. It is promoted most visibly by large corporations that have many small businesses as customers, including American Express, FedEx and ClearChannel this year," reports Small Biz Survival, which bills itself as "The rural and small town business resource." We might add that such companies are also sponsoring the day in an effort to get more trade from small stores.

The Small Business Saturday website has "a section to help consumers find local businesses," Small Biz Survival notes. "This is less important for small towns, where most people know what stores are in town; they just need to be reminded to shop at home. For small towns, the big competitor isn't the big chain store next door as much as it is the Shopping Trip to the Big City. That's where we lose most of our sales." The site also offers promotions like Shift Your Shopping, a continuing shop-at-home campaign. "One day is not enough, especially since Saturday is a prime day for those trips to the Big City," Small Biz Survival says. (Read more)

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