ND Small Business Development Centers
ND Small Business Development Centers

Helping North Dakotans Start, Manage, and Grow Their Business.

November 2022

Shoppers, business owners, and civic leaders need to come together to support small businesses and the communities they help to thrive. We encourage you to “Shop Small” on Small Business Saturday, November 26, to Support North Dakota’s Locally-Owned Small Businesses!

A special day is coming later this month – Saturday, November 26th is Small Business Saturday – a day to celebrate and support small businesses and all they do for our communities (even though we think that every day is worthy of heightened engagement with small businesses)!

We invite each of you and your family members, friends, co-workers, and anyone else within earshot to join the ND SBDC and SBDC’s across the country in supporting this annual holiday shopping tradition right here in North Dakota—just one part of the larger Shop Small Movement that supports small businesses every day and everywhere. It is REALLY EASY! Here is our suggested schedule of events for your Small Business Saturday excursion (this is what my Small Business Saturday usually looks like, it is no longer a secret):

Grab your morning coffee/latte/hot chocolate/cider and a bagel or muffin from a local coffee shop, and maybe grab a few pounds of their locally roasted beans or a great branded travel mug to send as gifts to others out of state. Oh, and get a few gift cards for your co-workers and boss while you’re there so that the small business continues to see patrons even after the holiday rush season – the first quarter of the new year is typically very slow for small businesses, so that “come back later” gift really helps their revenue stream!

Wander down the street and stop in at gift shops, clothing boutiques, and markets to find unique items for gifts, or just yourself, because you deserve the good stuff too. Found some Pride of Dakota items? Nice… stock up for those holiday parties you will be hosting so others can enjoy the cheese, spreads, and munchies, then, when your guests ask where you found such yummy snacks, you can tell them to go get their own – at the same shop you just visited!

Stop for lunch at a local restaurant for some small-batch, home-cooked soup or a sandwich, likely made with locally sourced ingredients. Not only are you supporting that business, but you are supporting local food producers as well (they are small businesses too!).

Keep on going… there are plenty more shops to head to. Do you need a Christmas tree? Head to your local garden center, tree farm, or non-profit sponsored tree stand, and find that perfect evergreen or filler for those empty pots at your front door.

Or, if you’ve shopped and you’re ready to drop, meet the rest of the family or friends at a fun activity stop, like an escape room, a locally owned movie theater, a trampoline park, or axe bar (disclaimer: depending on ages). Gift cards for activities are also great gifts for those located nearby – if you know someone that needs less “things” but more “fun things to do,” this is perfect!

~ BREAK: unload your car at home… ~

Head out to a great dinner with family and friends because who wants to cook after prepping, serving, AND CLEANING UP Thanksgiving/Friends-giving!?! Book in advance; we hope that your local restaurants and watering holes will be full, so plan ahead and make a reservation.

And if it works out this way (how perfect if it does)… if you have a local theatre company with a production scheduled for this weekend – grab tickets and take the whole crew! These local groups are also small businesses, and they would love to see you top off your day with great entertainment. Then share with all of your friends on Monday how great it was and tell them to get tickets to the next scheduled show.

Do you know what else takes little effort and zero dollars to support small businesses on this day (and every day)?? Tagging your stops and sharing pics of your finds and experiences on social media. Don’t forget the hashtag #smallbusinesssaturday or #shopsmall if you don’t want to type that many letters…

Don’t let your fun stop there! On Cyber Monday, go to ShopND and browse thousands of items from North Dakota businesses. You can choose to pick up locally, have it delivered, or ship it to friends or family out of state. This is a quick and easy way to support local ND small businesses from wherever you or the recipient might be!

And if you know of a small business that hasn’t hopped on this wagon yet – tell them to get on ShopND.com before Cyber Monday, so they can benefit from the millions of dollars being spent online on this day. They can register for services on our website, and we’ll help them set up their store’s site very quickly.

We hope many of you are supporters and champions of the small businesses in your community. If you haven’t shopped on Small Business Saturday in the past, here’s a bit of history and just some of the benefits!

What is Small Business Saturday?

Small Business Saturday was first launched in 2010 to help small businesses recover from the recession. It was an immediate success, leading to the U.S. Senate passing a resolution in 2011 to recognize the first Saturday after Thanksgiving as an annual holiday shopping tradition to support the small brick and mortar stores lining downtown Main Streets and in neighborhoods across America. It also helps customers who want access to unique products and experiences in their community and local economies that benefit from successful small businesses.

Small Business Saturday falls within the busiest holiday shopping season of the year and is designed as a counterpoint to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which typically favor big box retail stores and large online merchants. Now in its 12th year, the initiative has spread across the country and even abroad, emphasizing the value that small businesses bring to their local communities.

Reasons to Shop Small 

  • Economic benefits – When shopping locally, $68 for every $100 stays in the community, while only $43 stays in the community when shopping non-locally
  • Community well-being – Small businesses create jobs for residents, donate money to local non-profits, invest in local schools, and so much more
  • Personalized service – Many local business owners have a passion for their work and a commitment to their craft that goes far beyond their desire for financial gain. They view their customers as people, not just as sales opportunities. Small businesses are in a unique position to develop personal relationships with their customers, which translates to meeting needs and exceeding expectations
  • Keep dollars in the local economy – Thriving small businesses help create thriving communities. Many small businesses needed to close their doors because of the pandemic. Those businesses that survived need support now more than ever. The support they receive from the community now will help them to continue to rebound and thrive in the future
  • Environmental sustainability – Shopping locally also has significant environmental benefits. Items purchased online must be shipped countless miles in fuel-consuming vehicles before they arrive at your door. For consumers who want to reduce their carbon footprint and overall ecological impact, a short trip to a local shop is a green alternative

Visit @SmallBusinessSaturday to connect with the broader Shop Small community.

Thank you,
Tiffany Ford, State Director
And all the Staff of the ND Small Business Development Network

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