Opti-Independents Prepare for #SmallBusinessSaturday

NEW YORK—With Thanksgiving on the horizon, the holiday shopping season is officially full steam ahead. As usual, there’s no shortage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals to take advantage of this year—but, for many independent ECPs across the country, it’s Small Business Saturday (this year on Nov. 30th) that really makes a difference. This year marks the 10th annual Small Business Saturday, a movement created by American Express in 2010 to encourage Americans to shop small and support their local economy. Celebrated on the day after Black Friday, Small Business Saturday gives local, independent businesses their moment in the spotlight—and it’s been an all-around success. In 2011, American Express reports, the Senate unanimously passed a resolution in support of Small Business Saturday. According to American Express, Small Business Saturday spending has reached a reported estimate of $103 bullion since 2010. Most importantly, for every dollar spent at a small business in the U.S., about 67 cents stays within the local community, says American Express.

There’s still time to get involved in Small Business Saturday. ECPs can head over to the Small Business Saturday website to download promotional posters, social media templates, and an email template that are customizable and totally free, and interested shoppers can also take a look at the American Express Shop Small Map to find small businesses near them. A full list of Small Business Saturday supporters, called Neighborhood Champions, is also available online.

Although Small Business Saturday is still a few days away, some ECPs are already gearing up for the big day. Here’s a look at how just a handful of independents are getting ready to #shoplocal and #shopsmall this year.

Chang Eye Group in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is offering all patients without vision insurance a 30 percent discount on Small Business Saturday. Image via Chang Eye Group on Twitter.

Miami Optical in Chicago shared some of their offerings in the #SmallBusinessSaturday hashtag ahead of the big day Image via Miami Optical on Twitter.

Oxford Eyes in Orlando, Florida, will have refreshments and treats available to celebrate Small Business Saturday. Image via Oxford Eyes on Twitter.

At Trendz Optical in Alberta, Canada, patients can enter to win a cash prize as part of their local Sherwood Park & District Chamber of Commerce’s Shop Local campaign. Image via Trendz Optical on Instagram.

Kitsap Optical, located in Silverdale, Washington, shared some of their available frames in the #SmallBusinessSaturday hashtag on Instagram. Image via Kitsap Optical on Instagram.

Oasis Eyecare in Smyrna, Tennessee, used the #shoplocal hashtag to share new Mommy and Me Draper James styles. Image via Oasis Eyecare on Instagram.

They may not have Thanksgiving, but some UK businesses celebrate Small Business Saturday too—Hudsons Opticians in Bawtry, South Yorkshire, England shared a sign that explains the magnitude of shopping small and local. Image via Hudsons Opticians on Instagram.