What Bank Transfer Day and Small Business Saturday Mean for Your Business

Two Big Shop Local Events Set for November

It's quite nearly November, and we're about to see two big LOCAL business movements culminate in November, Bank Transfer Day and Small Business Saturday.

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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.

photo credit Eddie Colla

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.

small business saturday, buy local buy rogueThe 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.


Tisha Oehmen

Tisha Oehmen is a professional brand strategist and a leader in the branding field. She was recently named a member of the Global Guru’s Top 30 Brand Gurus. She is also the co-founder of Oregon-based Paradux Media Group and the best-selling author of the book, Finding Brand: The Brand Book Tutorial.

Possessing expertise in both front- and back-office operations, Tisha conceptualizes, develops, and implements initiatives to foster brand effectiveness like no other. With over 15 years of experience in branding and marketing, Tisha has successfully led large financial institutions and health care companies down the path of renaming their business.

Where Tisha really shines is in the work that isn’t done. Sometimes a name change for a business isn’t in their best interest and after meeting with Tisha, they are able to find the true value and equity that has always been in their brand. Tisha has a special knack of being able to communicate the value so that the CEO/Business owner can see its luster and then with a little polishing, make it shine company wide.

Tisha is best known for developing long lasting branding campaigns that speak to the heart of the business, the brand, and the community. True brand, no matter how big or small, has longevity. Creating branding campaigns that have longevity, that have a laser-like focus, is where Tisha thrives.

Tisha received her M.B.A. from the University of Oregon, from where she also earned a B.A. in Political Science. She enjoyed a distinguished academic career punctuated by enthusiastic and successful participation in competitive speaking events, and holds numerous awards for her skill in public speaking. Tisha is widely recognized for her ability to capture an audience’s attention with her straightforward and engaging speaking style.

When not working, she enjoys golfing, baking, reading, and hiking with her partner, Mike, and their two dogs, Chloe and Jackson. She’s also an active member of Rotary International, the Chamber of Commerce, and is a very proud supporter of the Oregon Ducks. Tisha lives in Eagle Point, Oregon.

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