Monday, 6 December 2010

Small Business Saturday - a great American idea

Since we launched in UK four years ago, we’ve been contacted by hundreds of people from across the UK and the world who are desperate to save their local, independent shops. Depressingly it’s not just our problem, it’s a worldwide problem. We could wax lyrical about the importance of local shops (they’re great for the local economy, give us unique and vibrant neighbourhoods, create places for people to walk and connect. They sell us more diverse products and are better for the environment because they use, on average, less power - and you’re more likely to walk rather than drive to them). But we’re also keen to promote the good ideas out there that help local businesses. Here’s one idea we've just found.

America is often thought of as the home of the chains, but we are constantly surprised to hear news from across the pond about the interesting campaigns and schemes set up to promote local shops. One we recently happened across was ‘Small Business Saturday’ – held on November 27th this year to promote shopping at local businesses on a day when customers are more likely to choose big stores for their Xmas shopping. It’s sponsored by American Express and a number of other organisations. In addition reports:

“American Express Open has also launched another marketing program which should encourage and attract more consumers to shop at small businesses. Consumers must register their American Express card at and use it to spend at least $25 at a local business on Saturday. Customers who will do this qualify for the statement credit. Rosa Sabater, a senior vice president for American Express Open said the registration is limited and only 200,000 people can sign up.

Rosa Sabater also said small local business must be encouraged as well, as over the last two decades 65 percent of the new jobs came from them. She also said small businesses can help the economic recovery if they manage to attract more customers. Therefore, the company decided to organize the marketing program which is meant to attract more clients and to increase sales for small businesses.

According to the Small Business Saturday website, the one-day event is a national campaign which should inspire and persuade consumers to support their local small businesses.”

We at Wedge are keen to see how this has helped, and will keep our eyes and ears peeled

See for more info

Diana Bird

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