Nov. 28, 2020 — During the trying times of the pandemic, small businesses have been hit hard. Many are struggling and others have closed. Small businesses, throughout the U.S. are the backbone of America’s economy, and right now, they need all Americans’ help.
Created in 2010 by American Express, Small Business Saturday – the day after Black Friday – is a perfect time to stop in and support your local independent business retailers. Better Business Bureau (BBB) is pleased to support Small Business Saturday and urges you to shop at small businesses in your communities. Many have made special accommodations to keep their customers safe this year by having their merchandise available online, providing the opportunity to social distance while shopping in the store or by offering curbside pick-up.
Tips to “Shop Small” on Small Business Saturday
- Get involved. Many communities are hosting special events to celebrate and support the businesses that make your hometown unique. Find out what local events are happening in your area on the Small Business Saturday website, or visit your local chamber of commerce or merchants’ association.
- Sign-up for email alerts. Save a few dollars on your holiday budget by signing up for Small Business Saturday email specials offered by the merchants in your area. Keep in mind, you’ll probably get additional deals throughout the year, not just during the holidays.
- Research the shops nearest to you. Find out what past customers have to say by reading reviews online, such as those on BBB.org, and learn what shops are participating by going to ShopSmall.org.
- Don’t just shop small, eat small! Many people think that shopping at local retail stores is the only way to participate. However, small independently owned restaurants, bakeries, and coffee shops would love to invite in new customers while they’re out and about.
- Share your experience. Take a selfie at your favorite small business. Share it on social media with the hashtags #BBB and #ShopSmall to tell the world you’re a big fan of small businesses. Leave a review on BBB.org. Remember, these shops are open all year as well!
If there has ever been a year when charitable need was at its highest, 2020 surely rises to the top. We also are aware that as we celebrate Thanksgiving, the heart of the holiday giving season has arrived. GivingTuesday takes place on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving in the U.S. This donation promotion was started by the New York-based 92Y in 2012 that evolved into a “global generosity movement.” Giving Tuesday reports it has cumulatively helped raise billions of dollars for online charitable giving worldwide in more than 60 countries.
If you participate on GivingTuesday on December 1st, BBB Wise Giving Alliance urges donors to check our charities on its Give.org website to ensure that contributions are going to trustworthy organizations. Our detailed, standards-based charity evaluations provide donors with information to help them make wiser giving decisions.
BBB WGA is sharing five tips to help donors give wisely and make the most of their generosity this holiday season.
- Watch out for mistaken identity. When charities seek support for the same cause, their names are often similar. Before you give, be sure you have the exact name of the charity to avoid a case of mistaken identity.
- Avoid on-the-spot donation decisions from unfamiliar organizations. Typically, the holidays bring a higher frequency of donation requests. Don’t succumb to pressure to make an immediate giving decision. Responsible organizations will welcome your gift tomorrow as much as they do today.
- Be wary of overly emotional appeals. If an appeal brings tears to your eyes, make sure it is also clear about the charity intends to do to address the issues. Always research to verify that your selected charity operates ethically.
- Be cautious about charities that don’t disclose. Although charity participation in BBB reporting is voluntary, charities that don’t disclose any of the requested information to BBB WGA raise a critical red flag for donors. Visit Give.org to find out if your selected charity is nondisclosure.
- Rely on standards-based evaluations. Charities that are found to meet the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability are helping to demonstrate their trustworthiness. Get free access to charity reports at Give.org.
ABOUT BBB: Better Business Bureau has been assisting U.S. consumers and businesses since 1912. It is a nonprofit, business-supported organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. BBB services to consumers are free of charge. BBB provides objective advice, free BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.3 million companies, 11,000 charity reviews, dispute resolution services, alerts and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. Please visit BBB.org for more information.