by Selma Canas | December 14, 2017
Initiated by American Express in 2009, the Shop Small campaign encourages shoppers to support their local small businesses by shopping small rather than at larger retailers. This year, Small Business Saturday was held nationwide on Nov. 25, 2017.
I’m sure most people have heard of the Shop Small campaign, especially with social media marketing. But did you know it’s not just in the US? Shop Small and Buy Local campaigns are promoted all over the world…
In the United Kingdom, in addition to small business Saturday, on Dec 2 this year, they run a bus tour providing workshops and promoting small businesses. The bus travels throughout the U.K. stopping at 27 locations over a five-week period.
A lucky Buy Local shopper in Brathurst, New South Wales, in Australia, won a car during this year’s Buy Local campaign. For every eligible purchase made at participating small businesses, the buyer’s names were entered in the drawing for a new car.
British Columbia, Canada, promotes Buy Local all year long with their website BCbuylocal.com and social media contests for consumers.
South Africa’s Shop Small Friday is held annually the first Friday of Spring. The National Small Business Chamber hosts the Shop Small Network, a searchable nationwide directory of small businesses, to help promote small businesses by increasing their online presence.
The most widespread small business support organization is by far, the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO). According to their website, the WFTO operates in more than 70 countries across five regions – Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America and the Pacific Rim.
Fair Trade is a global solution to help small producers compete against their larger counterparts fairly and without discrimination. Fair Trade Coffee is well-known around the world since 1988 when coffee was certified as Fair Trade. However, there are many agricultural and handcrafted goods belonging to world fair trade organizations around the world. These include baskets, clothing, home décor, jewelry, soap, wine and many more. So, when you buy Fair Trade goods, you’re not only helping small and disadvantaged producers, but you are helping build sustainable communities.
This is what shopping small and buying locally is all about – supporting our communities by helping our small businesses grow. Rather than support those small businesses one day a year, considering frequenting them throughout the year.