A picture of Margot's parents, who were small business owners
My parents were small business owners!

Updated October 2022

Lost in all the media around Small Business Saturday is the role larger enterprises have in supporting these operations. Many of their clients, vendor, contractors and employee's family members are small business owners.

What can you do if you work for or own a larger business to help your smaller peers remain successful? Here are some ideas.

5 ways larger companies can support Small Business Saturday

Here are 5 ways large companies can get in on the Small Business Saturday (SBS) hoopla:

  1. Amplify Small Business Saturday posts from smaller clients, partners and your favorite local purveyors. You can do this on your business and/or personal accounts. This is, literally and figuratively, the least you can do.
  2. Leverage your social media reach with original visual content. Give a shout-out to your small business colleagues, including sole proprietors, freelancers and contractors. Find out which employees have family business owner spouses or close relations and promote them, too.
  3. Buy an ad in the local paper (assuming you still have one), on the local radio station or digital platforms to recognize the small businesses you do business with and to encourage other enterprises to increase their commitment to these kinds of companies.
  4. Allocate some of your marketing budget to help a small business with #shopsmall promotions. Buy ad space on Google and other platforms, underwrite a direct mail or email missive, or provide creative support.
  5. Write a blog post, op-ed, LinkedIn article or radio commentary about the responsibility to partner with smaller companies and highlighting one or two examples of your own. Or craft short blog profiles of the small business owners you work with. Promote widely on social media. Here's an example.

5 ideas to support small business all year long

While one special day is nice, small businesses need to be busy all year long to be sustainable. Here are 5 ideas for supporting small businesses year-round:

Neal's Deli catering menu
  1. Identify opportunities to funnel more work to small businesses and sole proprietors, especially in your own community, including a review of your procurement process to make it more accessible. Bonus points if you use this as an opportunity to find diverse suppliers.
  2. Flag upcoming contract renewals and expand the RFP pool to include smaller companies and freelancers/contractors.
  3. Write recommendations for small business owners and their employees on LinkedIn, and make a concerted effort to refer your peers to them.
  4. Offer a small business discount to help smaller enterprise dollars do more and potentially create a loyal customer base.
  5. Choose locally owned restaurants for meeting and event catering, like our friends at Neal's Deli or The Open Eye Cafe.

A thriving community requires a mix of small, medium and large businesses. Small Business Saturday is the perfect time to show a little love for these enterprises and to review opportunities your company has to increase your support the other 364 days.