October 26, 2021 | Marlin Staff Writer

Thanksgiving weekend traditionally starts with a delicious dinner and ends with a four-day shopping spree. Consumers prepare for the upcoming holidays by browsing stores online and in person, drafting their wish lists, and — to the delight of retailers — spending money. This tradition is especially beneficial to local shops on Small Business Saturday.

 

What is Small Business Saturday? This shopping holiday, which falls between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, is an opportunity to support small local businesses. On Nov. 27 this year, community-based retailers will invite you and your friends to shop small this holiday season. By doing so, you can put money back into your community.

 

In 2020, Small Business Saturday brought in $19.8 billion, according to American Express. Though this is a huge number, it’s especially impressive considering most people shopped online last year. With fewer restrictions and consumer health concerns in 2021, retailers hope to break the $20 billion mark.

 

Want to learn how to support Small Business Saturday? Here are three tips to help you make the most of the shopping holiday this year:

 

1. Schedule some time to visit local businesses.

Even if you’re all about shopping local for the holidays, you may end up buying from big online retailers if you don’t make a plan. Why? You’re constantly bombarded by digital advertisements on your phone, computer, and other digital devices. Those ads might encourage you to spend money you wanted to save for Small Business Saturday.

 

Instead, create a local business budget and schedule time to visit your favorite stores. What deals do you know about? Is there anything you simply can’t miss? By preparing ahead of time, you’ll be ready to shop small on Nov. 27.

2. Eat at your favorite restaurant on Small Business Saturday.

Though you might think of Small Business Saturday as a time to pick up presents, it can be a perfect chance to grab food from a local diner, pub, or restaurant. Let’s face it: You can’t eat turkey leftovers forever. Plus, it’s an excuse to gather with your closest loved ones for a “Friendsgiving” celebration.

 

Many eateries will offer specials on and around Small Business Saturday, so check out their websites in advance. If you’d rather kick back and have a meal at home after shopping all day, you can still order local. Lots of locally-owned restaurants use Uber Eats, DoorDash, and Grubhub. If you’re truly not hungry after eating your third turkey sandwich, consider purchasing restaurant gift cards as stocking stuffers.

3. Try purchasing from small businesses online.

Many people assume that they can only get Small Business Saturday deals if they visit retailers in person, but that’s not the case. You can shop at small businesses online, too. Some retailers have robust e-commerce capabilities, or you can buy online and pick up your products curbside-style.

 

The past year has changed many merchants’ mindsets and encouraged them to become more customer-centric. So you might be able to get what you want without actually setting foot in a store.

 

Really, there’s no wrong way to shop small this holiday season. Now that you know how to support Small Business Saturday, plan to venture out to local stores or shop small businesses online on Nov. 27. You won’t be alone: The Marlin team is committed to shopping small businesses, too! Check out #MarlinLovesSB or #MarlinLovesSmallBusiness on our social pages to see what we’re doing this holiday season.