Small Business Saturday, a day sponsored by American Express to promote small businesses, will take place this year on November 25. Jennifer Chilstrom, co-owner of Showroom in Minneapolis, says they have participated for the past four years, ever since their shop—a fashion-forward apparel boutique offering a unique variety of sustainable, ethical brands featuring Minnesota makers—has been open.
The event started in 2010 in order to encourage consumers to step through the doors of local shops. Since then, it has taken off with more than 112 million Americans across the country shopping or eating at independent businesses during last year’s event. AmEx Small Business Saturday representative Yera Ha says according to their Insights Survey, “89 percent of shoppers say participating in Small Business Saturday makes them want to ‘Shop Small’ year round.”
AmEx offers many rewards and benefits to participants. Chilstrom says after you sign up for Small Business Saturday, AmEx sends marketing tools, offers training and also sends out press releases. She adds that last year Showroom was mentioned in three news outlets and three articles which was how many people heard about it.
Showroom is located on a block that features many other women-owned businesses. Community has been a large factor in the success of each of these, according to Chilstrom. “We’ve really been able to pull together and find creative ways to support each other and our community,” she says, adding that every challenge they face as small businesses gives them an opportunity to grow closer.
For last year’s Small Business Saturday, Chilstrom said they had a “pamper yourself” theme at Showroom, including free chair messages, mini facials and a featured line of vegan lipstick. Chilstrom plans on participating again this year because of the success they have had in the past. “Small Business Saturday has become a really special way for us to continue the conversation about small businesses,” she says. “People really have the opportunity to experience someone’s story.”