Small Business Saturday is coming! What are your plans for your small business?

This year, Small Business Saturday falls on November 30. Started by American Express in 2010, this annual event has gained considerable momentum, with a survey of last year’s participation showing that an estimated $5.5 billion was spent at small, independent retailers and restaurants on the designated day. Those surveyed reported a median spending per person of $75. In another survey, 67% said they were aware of Small Business Saturday, and 47% said they had actually shopped at local small businesses on Small Business Saturday.

Ideally, every Saturday would be Small Business Saturday. The buy local movement continues to grow stronger in communities across the country. But while we wait for that ideal world to arrive, we should still grab every opportunity available to toot our horns about the value of shopping locally, and that certainly includes latching onto the buzz that Small Business Saturday creates.

Increasingly, neighborhoods of businesses are banding together to promote Small Business Saturday. People are obviously attracted to vibrant neighborhoods where they have a choice of shopping and dining opportunities. So anything you can do to generate that sense of neighborhood where your business is will help support your success.

There are all sorts of ways you can cross-promote each other’s businesses, from featuring each other on your Facebook page, Twitter, Pinterest and other social media platforms; providing local bloggers with information on the shops and restaurants in a neighborhood; and even organizing a cause marketing event on Small Business Saturday to support a local charity.

Also be aware that your local media will be looking for businesses to cover on Small Business Saturday, so make sure your neighborhood of shops and restaurants is on their radar screen. This will be particularly effective if you have some type of special community event planned in conjunction with the day, like the aforementioned causing marketing event for a charity.

Google Small Business Saturday and you’ll find plenty of resources to help you make the most of this day. One of the best I found was at the Small Business Administration, which has a helpful page of resources for Small Business Saturday that you can access here.

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