Small Business Saturday encourages consumers to shop locally

Hometown businesses made a special appeal to shoppers Saturday, Nov. 25, not just in Cordova, but all over the United States, to shop locally on Small Business Saturday.

While encouraging consumers to shop locally, the U.S. Small Business Administration is also providing tips to small business owners on the best ways to attract shoppers for throughout the holiday season.

Small business owners in Cordova are already employing some of these marketing tips for businesses on a limited budget, for local shoppers to take advantage of, including gift certificates that are simple to wrap and delivery inexpensively by mail, and can be used at the convenience of the recipient.

The SBA website also suggests hosting an open house, special officers, sneak previews, secret sales for faithful customers, partnering with other businesses to cross-promote each other’s businesses, and using websites and social media to promote holiday activities.

Many merchants will combine some of these efforts, including a suggestion to exhibit at holiday shows, by participation in the annual Holiday Bazaar at Mt. Eccles Elementary School Dec. 1-2.

More ways to attract business, through the holidays and beyond, include sending holiday cards, New Year’s cards and thank you cards.

The SBA also suggests kids’ contests, like a make-your-own ornament or holiday coloring contest, to bring parents and their children into the shop, with everyone getting small pries, like candy canes, as well as a big prize for the winner.  Another plus for shop owners and shoppers alike are kid friendly businesses, with a kids’ space with toys or books to keep tired, fussy children occupied while parents shop.

Some other tips include free refreshments/samples, including cookies or beverages to energize tired shoppers, seating for customers in need of a short rest, or a gift with purchase.

Small businesses will find these and other tips for attracting shoppers on the SBA website, https://www.sba.gov/blogs/33-creative-ideas-small-business-holiday-marketing