As we get ready for Thanksgiving and all the trimmings which come with, many are also preparing for the busiest shopping days of the year. Each sector of the business community has found their niche and looks to draw attention during this season of giving. There is no doubt many will be napping early on Thursday after their big meal in preparation for all of the running around on Black Friday the next morning (or that evening as the case has become). There are also those who have taken to enjoying a relaxing weekend before getting their fingers ready for a frantic Cyber Monday. One less celebrated but more recent success story has been Small Business Saturday, which will fall right between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Black Friday has traditionally been not only the start of the holiday shopping season, but also was historically the day many of the big retailers first turned a profit for the year. Many stores through the years from Gimbels to Macy’s have stocked the shelves with eye catching door busters to get you in and then get the rest of your shopping done while you were out. While the tradition still remains it has grown to an industry of its own now and has begun even before some of us have finished our turkey on Thanksgiving.
Cyber Monday continues to grow not only in popularity but in success, with a bit more of the sales dollars each year moving to the internet. Amazon already has their teasers up for what their hourly specials will be. Many other retailers have found it a great way to capitalize on not having to have as much inventory during the Black Friday period. Some of their best deals can be found online and then later picked up in store or delivered.
Keeping in mind exactly what small businesses mean to America will also make you take a second look at going out on Small Business Saturday. Today there are more than 24 million small businesses, according to the Small Business Association, which account for more than 55% of all jobs. Since the Great Recession, this sector has been the area of largest new job growth. On average a locally owned small business will generate 3 to 3.5 times the return to a local community as a national chain, due to reinvestment and income generation.
As you can see there are a number of great ways to save when looking for the right gift for that special someone this season. Here at the Chamber we encourage you to find the deal that best fits you but also be aware there are a number of opportunities to save. Some of the best gifts and deals you will find may not come from the places you first expected them to be. Spend some time in your local shops, looking at the ads, and spend some time researching to get the best bang for your buck.
By James O’Callaghan