Today was Small Business Saturday and, despite us being a small business, we did nothing to promote this new High Street ‘tradition’.
The concept of Small Business Saturday was introduced to the UK from the USA, with the first event taking place in December 2013. This was the year that I started the Chorlton Art Market and so I was involved with helping to promote the concept of encouraging people to shop at independent business for this one day. This slightly patronising idea about shopping at ‘small businesses’ for one day out of 365 is my first issue with the idea of Small Business Saturday.
My second problem with SBS is the fact that it is actually a PR exercise by American Express, cleverly disguised as a social enterprise movement. Since the age of 13 I have worked in various roles within independent business and I can’t recall any of those places accepting American Express payments due to higher processing fees than other cards. We do not accept American Express at CAM for this reason.
I am not entirely convinced that Small Business Saturday does actually make people any more likely to shop at independent businesses than they would do usually. I may well be wrong, but I quite simply haven’t had the time or the inclination to do any kind of promotion for it this year.
Promotion that does work well for a business like ours is, of course, consistent and regular social media updates and information. Unfortunately at the minute our social media presence is pretty much dormant. Due to a few unexpected events over the last couple of months, we have been preoccupied with other issues which has left the social media stuff being side-lined at a time of year when we should really be pumping up the volume.
BUT!…Even if we haven’t posted a slightly filtered photo on Instagram, or shared a tweet for a couple of weeks this doesn’t mean that the CAMhub isn’t as completely awesome as always – it simply means that we are crazy busy and trying to prioritise! Making the shop work economically and ensuring that our artists are making good money, serving our customers 6 days a week and simply doing all the paperwork is not an easy task (as well as maintaining the basic requirements of 2 small humans) so please be understanding if it seems that our social media-ness is a bit quiet.
Right now the shop is absolutely jam-packed with an eclectic hoard of carefully selected giftware for all ages, along with the work of our amazing artists. And if this wasn’t enough for you, Autumn’s Vintage Boutique is looking better than it ever has done, thanks to the hard work of our wonderful vintage ladies. As a special treat for our customers, the vintage traders have come together to organise a special shopping day, taking place on Sunday 4th December – more info here: https://www.facebook.com/events/365475820457367/
So come down, get yourself styled to vintage perfection and get all your Christmas shopping done under one roof with a glass of Jay’s famous mulled wine in your hand. You can always support a small business, even if it isn’t Small Business Saturday!