November 29, 2014 marked Small Business Saturday® recently. For anyone who hadn't noticed, Small Business Saturday® is strategically positioned directly in the wake of both Thanksgiving and Black Friday. While Thanksgiving is a yearly national holiday, Black Friday is a socio-economically motivated event designed to tug at the purse strings of would be early Christmas shoppers. According to all financial reports in the wake of this year's highly anticipated event, sales projections were far off base and sales on Black Friday were particularly weak!
Because a host of factors are, likely, responsible for the shortage of pre-holiday sales at major retail outlets on Black Friday, perhaps something new working against that anticipated success is a lack of hype and a realization by many Americans that frantic spending on Black Friday is a gimmick! There...I said it. It's a fabricated false sense of urgency that threatens those who dare to not involve themselves with MISSING OUT! I mean, after all, we know; "These specials won't last long", right?
In concept, Small Business Saturday® is a great idea. Having American Express® as the primary promotions driver for this global concept has afforded the event a great deal of media exposure and coverage since the event's inception in 2010. For people to be quickly informed or reminded as to the importance of SUPPORTING SMALL BUSINESS within their respective communities on a global scale is PRICELESS! SO, what's the problem with all that notice and coverage by media? ?Just that!?
Small Business Saturday® has been so ardently covered by the major TV / internet content providers and all of their respective affiliates that it's become a standard piece of seasonal news garbage found in the D-Block of every local market's nightly newscast in the wake of Turkey Day. D-Block news isn't considered 'hard' news, it's fluff, human interest, etcetera. It also usually precedes the credit roll or close of the newscast.
Once an important occurrence is reduced to being viewed and represented as a gimmick, it immediately loses credibility in the public's eye. If it is belittled, then it's made to seem of lesser value! In truth, being local businesses themselves, local market TV should probably lead with the story and have extensive coverage spanning the day and spotlighting several Small Business Saturday® sample sales and events. However, a plethora of in-depth coverage has not been given to explaining the concept behind Small Business Saturday®. Instead, stations just don't want to miss out on dropping the event's namesake somewhere. Hence, the value of all that notice by media is more counter-productive to the actual success of the event.
Editor's Note: Having just one day per year where we decide to be financially supportive of small, local businesses is, of course, not enough. In truth, conscientious local consumers and business owners know that every day is small business Saturday! They are the businesses in southwest Florida that make it possible for Greatest Cape to do what we do! We salute, support and promote their success in nearly all we do. If your business has what it takes to set the SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY example, then we look forward to meeting you and helping your business grow in our community!