Small Business Saturday
On December 2nd, shoppers from coast to coast will finish digesting their leftover turkey dinners in front of a screen while they take advantage of Cyber Monday. Not unlike Black Friday or Boxing Day, it’s a race against the clock to snap up the best deals on hot goods. Cyber Monday was created to be the digital counterpart to Black Friday and persists despite the latter’s spread to the realm of e-commerce.
Big box stores and small retailers should both benefit from these national blow-out sales, but in reality, large corporate chains reap most of the gains. Though many are still inclined to buy from big box stores, there is a cultural backlash against the “Wal-Mart Effect”. Increasingly, consumers are trying to reclaim their loyalty to ‘main street’ shops. In an effort to promote the Shop Small movement, American Express founded Small Business Saturday. This Saturday, November 30th, will mark the celebration of small businesses that are the cornerstones of neighborhoods and communities.
In Montreal, Canada, there is a plethora of independent stores that offer an alternative to big-box shopping. Général 54, located at 5145 St Laurent Boulevard, is a great example of shopping “small” and supporting local artisans. They exclusively sell products from Montreal designers and other Canadian companies; absolutely nothing is made overseas. From all-natural and paraben-free cosmetics, to ethically produced apparel, General 54 is committed to eco-friendly and fair buying.
Although major players like Amazon pose a looming threat, brick-and-mortar stores can still thrive during changing times by bringing together the right technology with great customer service. Stores like Général 54 are maintaining the authenticity of their independent essence while using the same caliber of POS system as some of the bigger chain stores. The overwhelming majority of LightSpeed’s customers are small businesses, and the aim is to provide the right equipment that allows them to realize their entrepreneurial dreams.
Independent boutiques like Général 54 are at the heart of vibrant communities. Their flourishing existence is integral to local economic growth, and initiatives such as the Shop Small movement are a great way to help promote them. Whether you’re in America or elsewhere, Small Business Saturday should be a reminder to share your business with the little guys.