Small Business Saturday (November 25th) is coming up and now is the perfect time for us to contemplate the amazing benefits small businesses provide in McAllen and the greater Rio Grande Valley.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy’s “Small Business Profile” issued in July of this year, there are over 2.6 million small businesses in the state of Texas accounting for 99.8 of Texas businesses. These businesses employ nearly 46% of the private workforce in Texas or 4.6 million people.
Here in the four-county region that makes up the Rio Grande Valley, small businesses employe 19% to 55% of the workforce, depending on the industry.
The sheer number of workers small businesses employ in Texas – and truly all throughout the nation – should never be underestimated. In Texas alone, the gross state product (GSP) impact of small employer firms with less than 100 employees was calculated to be $478 billion in 2012. These small businesses together provided $13.9 billion in state revenue and $14.9 billion in local governments’ revenues.
Alongside the financial and economic benefits mentioned above, small businesses positively affect our communities in a number of ways including:
- Enhancing community identity and helping to create or preserve that vibrancy to the benefit of the local economy.
- Creating an environment of innovation through “friendly competition” that encourages business owners to provide improved products for the community.
- Encouraging business diversity which increases the opportunity for the local economy to effectively deal with tough economic conditions.
- When customers buy local, they are increasing the local tax base which allows for more funds to be diverted towards local community needs.
- Locally produced items are not only better for the environment but they also allow the local community to benefit from unique products and services they may not have received otherwise.
How Small Business Saturday 2016 Turned Out
Small Business Saturday has grown tremendously since its inception back in 2010 and 2017 is sure to be another amazing experience. As a business owner, if you haven’t already begun to participate in the event, there are a number of interesting stats worth considering.
- 112 million consumers shop and dine in support of the event, a 13% increase from 2015.
- Among those who shopped, 81% reported encouraging friends or family to shop or dine at a small, independently-owned retailer or restaurant.
- Total spending reached more than $15 billion.
- Over 6,700 small businesses signed up as Neighborhood Champions. This was a 63% increase from the approximately 4,100 that signed up in 2015.
- There were 135 million social media engagements in support of Small Business Saturday in 2016.
- More than 480 organizations joined the Small Business Saturday Coalition, a 13% increase over last year.
- 72% of consumers reported they were aware of Small Business Saturday.
How 2017 Is Shaping Up
Being that Small Business Saturday falls between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, there are plenty of opportunities for businesses to promote their sales and take advantage of the shopping weekend. While there’s never any certainty when it comes to these things, several organizations have created projections regarding Black Friday through Cyber Monday and the holiday season in general.
- According to RetailMeNot’s 2017 Holiday Trends and Guide, consumers are planning to spend an average of $743 during the Black Friday to Cyber Monday weekend. This is a 47% increase from 2016’s $505.
- Almost 7 in 10 consumers will spend money between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
- According to the annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics for the National Retail Federation, consumers will spend an average of $967 during the holiday shopping season.
- 25% of shoppers will visit a small or local business during the holiday season.
Small Business Saturday should be viewed as the gateway to a healthy holiday season. The publicity and increased awareness the event brings to small businesses should be used effectively to draw consumers in.
Reap the Benefits of Small Business Saturday
Small Business Saturday is the perfect tool to promote your business for the busy holiday season and into the new year. There are a number of tactics that can be used to drive sales including:
- Offer sales that run before Small Business Saturday and until after Cyber Monday.
- Social media is a must. Promote your business on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Don’t forget to include hashtags like #SmallBizSaturday, #shopsmall, and #SmallBusinessSaturday.
- Support local causes, charities, organizations, and events to help highlight how small businesses help support the local community.
- Cross-promote with other local businesses to help generate a Small Business Saturday that benefits everyone.
- Keep things fun and light. As we move into the holiday season of thanksgiving and cheer, you’ll want to provide a joyful environment that will draw in customers. Offer refreshments, small treats like cookies, family-friendly activities, or any other type of event that will attract your target audience.
- Offer a special Small Business Saturday service or product. Free gift wrapping, a limited-edition product, or a special menu item can go a long way to draw interest and customers to your business.
- Live stream to showcase your business’s personality. Showcase all the fun happening at your business by live streaming throughout the day. Customers will get a “behind-the-scenes” glimpse and feel better tied to your local small business.
The McAllen Chamber of Commerce is here to support your small business on Small Business Saturday and EVERY day!
Our amazing community functions best whenever we – businesses and citizens alike – are working together in unison to promote everything our wonderful city of McAllen has to offer.
Alongside partnering to make this upcoming November 25th an exceptional Small Business Saturday, we would also like to remind our Chamber members and McAllen business owners to:
- Like, comment, and share “See You in McAllen” posts and tweets.
- Use #SeeYouInMcAllen on your own business posts and tweets.
- Pick up “Amigos” signage and point of sale brochures at the Chamber.
- Give your employees “Amigos” pins to wear at point of sale.
- Continue to deliver the warm welcomes and outstanding customer experiences our visitors have always counted on when they come to McAllen!