Special Sections

2022 Waukesha County Small Business Saturday

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How small businesses can capitalize on Black Friday Millions of small businesses have had a difficult year in 2020. As the novel coron- avirus COVID-19 spread across the globe, governments all over the world took unprecedented measures to prevent the virus from claiming more lives. Public health measures like social distancing undoubtedly saved lives, but small business- es bore the brunt of the economic impact of such measures. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the number of active business owners decreased by 22 percent from February to April 2020. A Brookings analysis of Opportunity Insights Economic Tracker data found that, compared to Jan- uary 2020, small businesses in North Dako- ta, Washington, D.C. and Hawaii experi- enced a 60 percent decline in revenue between mid-March and mid-May. In the wake of such challenges, many small busi- nesses have been forced to shutter. For those that have managed to stay afloat, the upcom- ing holiday season could prove vital to their survival. Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiv- ing and marks the unofficial beginning of the holiday shopping season. It's a day when consumer spending annually reaches into the billions of dollars. For example, Adobe Analytics reported that Black Friday shop- pers spent a record $7.4 billion in 2019. Cap- italizing on Black Friday in 2020 can help small businesses generate a substantial amount of revenue in a year that has been chock full of financial challenges. The fol- lowing are some strategies small businesses can employ to make this Black Friday as lucrative as possible. • Connect with the locals. In recogni- tion of the economic challenges faced by small businesses in 2020, local chambers of commerce have gone to great lengths to encourage residents to shop local as economies have slowly reopened. Residents have responded to such efforts, and small businesses can do their part by making concerted efforts to connect with locals in advance of Black Friday. Advertise Black Friday sales in local newspapers and join your local chamber of commerce in encouraging shop local efforts on Black Fri- day. • Open early. In an effort to promote social distancing, some big box retailers have announced changes to their Black Fri- day strategies. Those changes may include more limited store hours and later open- ings. Local small business owners can capi- talize on such strategical shifts by opening their stores early on Black Friday without compromising social distancing guidelines. Place a sign outside your store that high- lights your early opening but also reminds customers of your mask and social distanc- ing policy. Thank customers in advance for adhering to your policy and for bringing much-needed revenue to your business. • Optimize your mobile site. Lines are the norm on a typical Black Friday, but they might be even longer this year as small businesses minimize the number of people they allow in their store at one time. By optimizing their mobile sites in advance of Black Friday, small business owners can ensure shoppers waiting online have access to what's inside the store even before they enter. That can make it easier to wait on line and ease customers' concerns about spending too much time inside the store. • Emphasize your status as a small business. The pandemic will no doubt com- pel many Black Friday shoppers to avoid crowded malls and big box stores in 2020. Small business owners can use their status as small businesses to their advantage by reminding customers their showrooms are small and easily controlled. Small businesses may be struggling in 2020. But Black Friday is a golden opportu- nity for small businesses to recoup some of the revenue they've lost in a challenging year. Shop Local - Shop Small - November 26, 2022 Shop locally on Plaid Friday and Small Business Saturday What better ways to celebrate the diver- sity, uniqueness and creativity of indepen- dent, local businesses than by supporting them during the busiest shopping season of the year? Plaid Friday was conceptualized in Oak- land, Calif., several years ago in an effort to encourage holiday shoppers to slow down and shop locally at small businesses rather than partake in the frenzy of the traditional Black Friday rush at big box retailers. Similarly, Small Business Saturday ® was founded by American Express in 2010 as a community-centric day to support local businesses. Small Business Saturday was the catalyst for the generalized Shop Small ® movement, which encourages consumers to patronize small businesses. Local businesses are at the heart of their communities. In a 2015 survey by the Urban and Land Institute, researchers found that more than half of respondents said they wanted a neighborhood where they wouldn't need a car very often. More than 40 percent specifically noted the desir- ability of local shopping and entertaining as main features. A neighborhood with a Main Street or thriving local shopping hub can be a big draw. Consumers make these neighborhoods a reality. Every time they grab a coffee from a local café, purchase a piece of artwork from a neighborhood artist or dine at a family- run restaurant, shoppers are supporting local business owners and strengthening their communities. Here are some ways to make shopping small a priority this holiday season. • Take inventory of Plaid Friday and Small Business Saturday sales by keeping up on local social media. Build holiday shopping lists around the offerings at local businesses. • Dine out at local restaurants or shop smaller food merchants. • Visit a local tree farm. When decorat- ing for the holidays, support the farm or local nursery that grows Christmas trees and makes their own wreaths and garlands. • Keep your money in your community at a local bank or credit union rather than a large national bank. Local banks may have special promotions to boost savings for holiday gifting. The holiday season is the perfect time to support small, local businesses.

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