A lot has changed during the coronavirus pandemic. Large in-person gatherings are a thing of the past, the economy has been affected, and some businesses have even shut down. There are many small businesses that are still open, but they’re struggling. It’s up to everyday people to continue to support them.
But consumers have also been affected—many people have lost their jobs, making it more difficult to support small businesses. Small Business Saturday offers a way for consumers to support local businesses, while also offering you some much-needed deals for your holiday shopping.
What and When Is Small Business Saturday?
Small Business Saturday is the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This year, that’s November 28. The day was developed in 2010 by American Express to encourage more people to do their holiday shopping at small businesses. The Senate even passed a resolution to officially recognize the day in 2011.
Tucked between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday is a big shopping day, and it continues to grow in popularity each year. In 2019, US consumers spent $19.6 billion on purchases that day.
Small Business Saturday may look different this year, but it isn’t canceled. You don’t have to avoid shopping altogether out of coronavirus fears. Instead, you can take steps to shop smart and support your favorite small businesses.
Follow These Small Business Saturday Shopping Tips
As long as you take the right steps, you can support small businesses while reducing worries about your finances, as well as health and safety. Here are some tips you can follow.
Check to See Which Stores Are Celebrating the Shopping Day
Take time to research your favorite shops to see if they’re participating in Small Business Saturday. Many post special promotions on their social media pages. This can help you decide where to shop in order to save money.
Plan in Advance to Avoid Overspending
No matter what shopping day you choose to participate in this year, it’s important to spend only what you can afford. Overspending can lead to debt and other financial problems.
Sticking to a budget is especially important if you’re struggling financially because of COVID-19. Don’t feel like you have to take part in this shopping day—but if you do, stay within your budget.
If you’re not good at creating or sticking to a budget, now might be a great time to start practicing. Learn how to budget better to make smart financial choices when shopping.
Use Credit Cards to Your Advantage
If you plan to use credit cards instead of cash or debit when doing your Small Business Saturday shopping, use them to your advantage. Check to see which rewards credit cards you already have in your wallet, and verify the perks they offer.
[There’s still time to apply for a new credit card to take advantage of Small Business Saturday spending perks. Check out RewardIt from ExtraCredit to get personalized offers.]
Maximize your earning potential by using the right credit cards for the right purchases. Many cards will allow you to earn more points, miles, or cash back if you spend in a specific category, for example.
American Express often offers cashback rewards when you spend a certain amount at qualified small businesses. You will need to sign up for the program, so check your cards’ eligibility and sign up before Small Business Saturday arrives.
Debit transactions often cost merchants a flat fee plus a percentage of the transaction, while credit cards charge only a percentage and can cost merchants less for smaller transactions. If you can, consider using credit cards to help keep costs down for your local small business.
Consider Getting a New Card
If you’ve been eyeing a new rewards or cash-back credit card, now might be a good time to apply. You can use your holiday shopping to meet spending requirements for a bonus while you earn rewards points or miles.
For example, the TD Cash Credit Card might be a good option for individuals looking for a credit card with some perks but no annual fee. Earn $150 cash back when you spend $500 within the first 90 days after account opening. Though its cash-back earning potential isn’t as high as some other cards, it could be a good beginner rewards card.
TD Cash Credit Card
- Earn $150 Cash Back when you spend $500 within 90 days after account opening
- Earn 3% Cash Back on dining
- Earn 2% Cash Back at grocery stores
- Earn 1% Cash Back on all other eligible purchases
- $0 Annual Fee
- Visa Zero Liability
- Instant credit card replacement
- Digital Wallet
- Contactless Payments
Card Details +
Do Your Shopping Online
If you want to support small businesses but don’t want to risk in-person shopping, consider placing orders online for delivery. Many small businesses will waive shipping fees if you spend a certain amount of money, and your purchases will arrive right at your doorstep.
Order Ahead and Pick Up Your Order
If you don’t want to deal with crowded stores on Small Business Saturday but don’t want to deal with shipping, simply place an order online and then pick it up yourself. Many small businesses have begun offering this service since the onset of coronavirus. You may also be able to arrange to pick up items after the weekend, when the store might be less crowded.
Wear a Mask and Time Your Visit
If you prefer to visit your favorite small businesses in person, take precautions. Be sure to wear a mask and keep your distance when you see other shoppers in the store. If possible, plan when to shop to avoid the busiest times of the day. For example, shopping soon after a store opens might be your best bet.
Be Safe When Shopping on Small Business Saturday
Yes, it’s possible to shop safely at your favorite locally owned stores this Small Business Saturday. Be sure to act smart, keep the pandemic in mind, and plan your shopping to avoid debt and earn more credit card rewards.
If you’re in need of a rewards credit card, take some time now to compare card options. If you’ve struggled with credit and debt and want to keep better track of your financial health, ExtraCredit offers access to 28 of your FICO® scores and other opportunities for staying on top of and protecting your credit.