Small Business Saturday 2021: How To Shop Small

Between Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday, as many big box stores are still slashing prices on everything from tech to skin care, there’s another store that stands out: Small Business Saturday, which highlights online and physical retailers nationwide.

The Culmination of Shopping was founded in 2010 by American Express (which sometimes offers incentives for its cardholders throughout it) and was co-sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration since 2011, to address what small businesses have cited as their most pressing need: to attract more customers, either physically or virtually, said Walter Frye, vice president of global brand management at American Express Management. This has been a particularly urgent problem in 2021, as many small businesses recover from the pandemic, in which some lost income or had to shut down temporarily.

Since the inception of Small Business Saturday, Frye has said that “it has become a movement and a fixture on the retail calendar.” And despite the many small businesses recovering from the bottlenecks of 2020, they face a new challenge in 2021: bottlenecks in the global supply chain, which have caused shipping delays, low stocks and Moreover. Small businesses are also struggling with labor shortages and the price of raw materials is driven by inflation, said Shilpa Reddy, vice president of QuickBooks Commerce at Intuit, the financial software company. So what does this mean for buyers?

“Given the impact of all of these macroeconomic issues on small businesses, it is important that consumers show patience and empathy and understand that small businesses do not have the same resources as large businesses,” Reddy said.

Because many plan to shop small during Small Business Saturdays and the holiday season, we’ve spoken to retail experts for resources to help you find retailers to buy from, as well as other ways to supporting small businesses throughout the year. We also discussed how the holiday season affects small businesses across the country.

How Small Business Saturday Helps Moms and Dads Survive

Many retail businesses rely on holiday season sales to carry them through the rest of the year, Frye said. In the recent American Express Shop Small Impact survey, 78% of the 523 owners and executives of small US businesses who participated said the holiday sales would help them decide if they can keep their doors open in 2022. But large retailers often dominate the holiday shopping space. by offering significant discounts, some of which start as early as October.

“Small businesses can’t always compete with the blockbusters that became very popular on Black Friday,” Frye said. “That’s why American Express started this tradition. Coming a day after Black Friday, one of the busiest shopping days of the year, Small Business Saturday is truly a day to highlight the importance of supporting small businesses and the impact that consumers have. can have when shopping all year round. “

Where to buy online during Small Business Saturday 2021

To help reach more customers and continue to sell during 2020 home orders, an overwhelming number of small businesses have embraced e-commerce during the pandemic, Frye said. And e-commerce has never been more important than it is now for small businesses, said Reddy – it’s crucial in terms of product sales and overall consumer awareness.

We’ve rounded up several ways to buy from small businesses online during Small Businesses Saturdays and throughout the year based on expert recommendations and insights. We’ve also included resources you can use to find small businesses near you, in person or online.


According to his Amazon Small Business Empowerment Report 2021, the retailer’s third-party sales partners include nearly 2 million small and medium-sized businesses. And in 2020, more than 200,000 new third-party sellers around the world started selling in Amazon’s U.S. store, which is a 45% increase since 2020.

Buyers can visit Small Amazon Support Page to browse items sold by small businesses. You can shop by product type and region, as well as by business owner, if you’re looking to buy specifically from black, family, or female-owned businesses. The Support Small page also calls up current offers.


Library allows shoppers to purchase books online at local stores across the country – especially those pictured on its menu – who receive all the benefits of your order. You can also buy without going through a specific local store, in which case the profit from your order goes into a revenue pool that Library dit is evenly distributed among independent bookstores.


EtsyThe market is full of goods made by independent artisans, collectors and other sellers, and its Cyber ​​Week Sales Event is online until December 1. Participating sellers are offering up to 60% off items ranging from personalized ornaments to serving platters. Etsy also released a Search for gifts to help you find items for loved ones this holiday season.

Small x ByBlack online store

This year, American Express launched the Shop Small x ByBlack online marketplace during the holiday season, an extension of ByBlack, which is a national business directory and certification program for black-owned businesses. The marketplace features a variety of products from ByBlack certified contractors, such as skin care, clothing, home goods and more. Eligible members of the American Express card may also receive a special offer also buying in the market.

Social media

“Social commerce has played an important role in the way consumers shop,” Reddy said. “For small businesses, the increased transition to e-commerce and the presence of a strong online and social media presence allows them to reach new customers outside of their immediate geographic area,” said Reddy.

recent from QuickBooks small business purchasing report, who surveyed 2,000 American adults, found that more than three in five consumers said they used online sources to find local small businesses where to shop, including social media advertising, friends’ posts and followers on social networks and Google or Apple Maps.

In 2020, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest allowed users to shop on social media platforms, and TIC Tac followed suit this year.

Artisans’ markets

Markets like NOVICA, Ten Thousand Villages and many more showcase handcrafted products from around the world. The products are handcrafted and many are inspired by specific cultures, regions and traditions.

Small Business Buying Guides and Cards

If you are looking to find small businesses to shop directly online or in stores, you can use a variety of guides and maps to point you in the right direction. Some bring small businesses together to shop across the country, while others allow you to enter your zip code so it can recommend local stores.

Here are some small business buying guides to help you find retailers in your area and beyond:

Other Ways to Support Small Businesses Year Round

Overall, “purchasing products, gift cards, or subscription services from small businesses is the # 1 way to support their business on Small Business Saturdays and all year round,” said Reddy.

But you can grow small businesses in other ways as well. For example, Reddy suggested following them on social media, sharing their profile with your friends and followers, and recommending them by word of mouth. She also said leaving positive reviews makes a difference.

“Reviews help businesses find themselves more easily in online searches, build credibility, and have an impact on customers’ future buying decisions,” she said. “A little comment can go a long way.”

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