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3rd Annual Small Business Saturday a Huge Success

The 3rd Annual Small Business Saturday exceeded expectations in South End on November 24th. We featured over 71 Ideas for Shopping Small in South End. Some of those key highlights were as follows:

–          Reading of the Mayor’s Proclamation by City Councilwoman LaWana Mayfield at the Atherton Market

–          Two Free Trolley Shuttles in South End

–          First ever Food Truck Brunch

–          Two live Christmas Tree Lots

–          Countless individual store promotions, events, specials and coupons

–          First Annual South End Holiday Tree Lighting

South End has participated in Small Business Saturday since its creation in 2010 and has seen the campaign grow each year. To determine the success of this year s Small Business Saturday in South End we used 4 criteria.

  1. Business Participation
  2. New visitors
  3. City wide exposure
  4. Sales

Business Participation

Business participation in South End has grown from about 10 small businesses in 2010 to over 75 small businesses in 2012. While neighborhood wide events are helpful, it is the participation from small businesses that makes the difference. This year more small businesses displayed the “Shop Small” door mats, posted signs in their windows, posted Small Business Saturday messages to their Facebook and/or Twitter accounts, or sent direct emails with Small Business Saturday promotions.  On a national level the Small Business Saturday Coalition broke records with over 350 organizations and 225 public officials supporting Small Business Saturday.

New Visitors

The life of any business depends on a steady stream of new and returning customers. South End is just under a square mile and measuring all visitors is a challenge but the anecdotal response from small business owners conveyed many new faces in their stores and many of those new faces stating they were out specifically to support small businesses on Small Business Saturday.  Additionally we had over 200 people join us for our first ever South End Tree Lighting.

“…we did see lots of new faces.  This gave us the much needed opportunity to hand out flyers and business cards to potential customers.  We expected low Saturday sales because we figured everyone had plenty of leftovers from Thanksgiving.  We do feel that SBS will bring us future business – it did last year” Dana – Windy Hill Farm at Atherton Market

We definitely saw an increase in traffic on Saturday. Both existing customers who specifically mentioned coming in to support small biz on Saturday and new faces who were out looking for new small biz to support. “ Chris – Vin Master Wine

City-wide Exposure

The media exposure for Small Business Saturday, specifically in South End was incredible! There were a minimum of 19 news stories featuring South End and Small Business Saturday that ran the week leading up to November 24th. South End has developed unusually strong followings in the social media arena of Twitter, Facebook and Blogging and when combined with the media stories provided tens of thousands of impressions, page views, tweets and retweets.

“We had one customer visit our store because she heard it being discussed on WBT Radio. She said she had never heard of SoBo Loft until she heard it mentioned on the radio and wanted to come check us out.” Trudy – SoBo Loft Boutique & Gifts

“As far as the numbers and the traffic for Small Business Saturday..It was definitely better than a regular Saturday..We did have a few faces that said they read the article or saw us on the news.” Nicole – The Blank Canvas 


Finally, we look at the general sales impact for the day. CCCP does not keep sales records or ask business owners for specific sales numbers but we did ask for either percentage increase compared to other Saturdays or compared to last SBS if they participated. Here are a few responses:

“Based on our numbers we believe we had 3x the amount of people thru the store which is FANTASTIC for us. We doubled the amount of transactions we normally have on a Saturday. Additionally it was our biggest sales AND transaction day to date. Let’s just say this year blew last year out of the water. It’s still surreal. It was truly a black Friday for us.” Amy – Savory Spice Shop

“We had more traffic and awareness of the promotion by Amex and our highest sales day of the year!” Jen – The Boulevard at South End

We had a record day on Saturday!  We did a 20% off promotion for SBS and sold 300%+ more than we did last year on the same Saturday.” Wayne – Whispering Willow Soap Co. – Atherton Market

It was amazing with a record number of sales and so, so many visitors.  Wish it was more than one day a year.” Ewa – Modern Fabrics Company

When you combine all 4 factors it is safe to say that Small Business Saturday 2012 was a tremendous success for South End. While single day promotions of this nature are very valuable we keep in mind it is Small Business Saturday every Saturday (and every day) in South End and hope you’ll come back throughout the holiday season and year to support small businesses.




2 thoughts on “3rd Annual Small Business Saturday a Huge Success

  1. Hi: Thanks for the great blog on the Southend! Do you know the name of the brass band that played at the tree lighting? Thanks! Steve Smith BLACKLION


    Posted by Steve Smith | November 27, 2012, 7:45 pm

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