November 25 was Small Business Saturday, and amidst the commotion of the holidays, many are wondering exactly how it went for local business owners.

How It Went

According to a 2017 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey

About 43% of American adults shopped or dined “small” on the big day.

This data should delight small business owners, as in its eighth year, the local business holiday continues to gain momentum.

It wasn’t just brick and mortar stores that won the hearts of customers this past Saturday. The same survey revealed 35% of Americans reported they shopped online during the holiday.

Small Business Saturday By the Numbers

Let’s break it down even further.

  • 73% of consumers who reportedly shopped at independently-owned retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday did so with friends or family.
  • 64% of consumers who shopped small reported it was to support their local community.
  • 58% of those who participated in the day reported shopping or dining at more than one small, independently-owned retailer or restaurant on Small Business Saturday this year.
  • Nationally, 48% (nearly half) of consumers who participated reported visiting a small business they had not previously been to on Small Business Saturday.

Which types of businesses benefited most on Small Business Saturday?

The types of businesses that benefited most varied greatly from state to state.

  • Colorado, Hawaii and Vermont howled with excitement, reporting pet stores and service providers as the type of small business frequented most.
  • Individuals in Illinois, Massachusetts and New York reported visiting a bakery the most. Yummy!
  • Shoppers in Georgia, Idaho and Texas got their pamper on, reportedly visiting spas, nail salons or hair salons the most.

Who You Can Thank

Though Small Business Saturday is a holiday created and endorsed by American Express, many other supporters chip in to boost their local economies during the holiday season each year.

These include:

  • Chambers of Commerce
  • Local governments and elected officials
  • Small business associations and nonprofits
  • Your customers, of course
Not sure how to thank them?

If you’re not already a member of a Chamber, consider joining one. Not only are they doing all they can to strengthen your local economy, they also afford local businesses several marketing and sponsorship opportunities throughout the year. They provide great local business and entrepreneur networking opportunities to help you gain visibility with residents and influencers in your community.

As for local officials, a letter or phone call of thanks can go a long way. Take the time to look up the names and contact info for your state and local representatives. When local officials feel your support and appreciation on a regular basis, they’re much more inclined to advocate for your best interests down the line. A quick example: Ever had construction take a little too long in front of your storefront, blocking your roadside entrance? These are the folks you want in your corner at the next town hall meeting. The same goes for the leaders of any local nonprofit organizations.

Last but definitely not least, don’t forget your customers. Hopefully you kept track of who stopped by on the big day. If you did, you can segment their contact information and reach out with a special note of thanks, perhaps even adding in a coupon or monetary gift to show your gratitude. If you didn’t keep track, don’t worry. An email blast to your contact list simply thanking those who came out to support should do the trick. Pro tip: If you do decide to add a coupon or store credit, put a time limit on it to encourage repeat business before the holiday season ends. There’s nothing like a bit of urgency to get customers in the door when you need it most.