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It’s quite nearly November, and if you haven’t been paying attention, we’re about to see two big LOCAL business movements culminate in the same month.
The first is Bank Transfer Day, it’s occurring on November 5. The premise is simple, if you bank at a “big bank,” close your account there and open an account with a local bank or credit union instead.
“It’s not people taking their money and burying it under their mattress. It’s shifting the money to a company people respect the practices of. It’s like, if you don’t like Wal-Mart’s practices, shopping at a local grocery store instead.” ~Kristin Christian, founder.
Bank Transfer Day has been embraced by the Occupy Wall Street movement, however it is separate from the moment, but is representative of the burgeoning consciousness of the American Consumer. I don’t pretend to assume that everyone who has accounts at the “big banks” will close their accounts on November 5, rather — a few will close their accounts, and many will consider it. But it is indicative of a much larger movement a foot that small business owners need to be paying attention to.
The second big LOCAL event is Small Business Saturday, taking place on November 26 this year (the Saturday after Thanksgiving). Last year was the first year that Small Business Saturday took place. It was wildly successful,
“According to American Express, small business merchants saw a 28 percent rise in sales volume during last year’s Small Business Saturday, compared to the same day in 2009.” ~Business News Daily
Small Business Saturday’s purpose is to encourage shoppers to finish their holiday shopping on Saturday at locally owned businesses. It doesn’t hurt that American Express will give $25 to any cardholder who makes a $25 or greater purchase at a qualifying small business.
“‘Coming out of the recession, the number-one need we were hearing from small businesses was ‘help me get more customers, help me create greater demand,’ Mary Ann Fitzmaurice, senior vice president of American Express OPEN, told The Huffington Post.”
There are lots of ways for small businesses to get involved in, and promote themselves in association with Small Business Saturday. If you’re interested in learning more about it or downloading a toolkit to get you started, click here.
Whether you choose to participate in either of these events as a consumer is up to you. But as a small business — you need to be paying attention to these movements and others. This movement is not a flash in the pan, it’s not going away. While it extremely unlikely that it will cause National companies significant or long-lasting pain, it does bring the opportunity for local businesses to own a bigger piece of the consumer pie. The more money that we spend locally, the faster and more completely our local economies can rebound, and that is good for everyone.