Small Business Saturday is a day dedicated to supporting the local businesses that create jobs, help preserve neighborhoods and help shape the culture & community of the area. Each year, on this day, the spotlight shines on small, locally owned, business such as bakeries, boutiques, pet shops, fitness studios, and everything in between.

November 24, 2018 marks the 9th annual Small Business Saturday. Founded in 2010 by American Express, Small Business Saturday is a day to promote and support local small businesses by helping them kick-off the holiday shopping season. Small businesses cannot compete with the blockbuster deals of Black Friday so after shoppers take advantage of Friday’s deals, we ask that they reserve Saturday to shop small. Small Business Saturday is always the Saturday following Thanksgiving and is situated between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Although the movement was created by American Express, small businesses do not need to carry American Express to participate.

Small Business Saturday is fueled by the efforts of “Neighborhood Champions”. Neighborhood Champions are volunteer individuals, businesses and organizations chartered to promote and build awareness of the day, to rally local business participation and to inspire people to get out and support the neighborhood by shopping small.

In 2017, there were nearly 3,000 Neighborhood Champions across the country and nine in Houston. Margaret Vinson, a Realtor with Martha Turner Sotheby’s, was one of the nine Neighborhood Champions for Houston. Margaret went above and beyond that call of duty by walking door to door to over 50 small businesses in the West University, Braes Heights and Bellaire neighborhoods to educate the businesses of the opportunity and to solicit their participation. She provided promotional signage for each business and created a tri-fold flyer that listed promotions each business chose to offer on Small Business Saturday. These small businesses then helped each other by each distributing the fliers to their customers. Margaret mailed flyers to residents and leveraged social media to promote Small Business Saturday to the community.

2018 will be Margaret’s 5th year as Neighborhood Champion. Margaret said she saw and article in 2014 about Small Business Saturday and the need for ‘Neighborhood Champions’. She was drawn to idea of being a ‘Neighborhood Champion’, “Small businesses are the backbone of our community, says Margaret Vinson, “They help shape the culture and community of the neighborhood and have strong influence on home values in the area. Becoming a neighborhood champion seemed like a great way to leverage my marketing talents to give back to the community. I live and work, as a Realtor, in the neighborhood so volunteering to be a Neighborhood Champion was important to me for both personal and professional reasons.”

Excerpt from President Obama’s message for Small Business Saturday 2014

America’s small business owners are on the front lines when it comes to creating new jobs and opportunities.  These visionary entrepreneurs are the men and women who take a chance on a dream and turn an idea into a new industry, helping provide the jobs, products, and services that enrich our lives, shape our communities, and move our economy forward.  Their efforts exemplify our Nation’s founding idea that no matter who you are, what you look like, where you come from, or whom you love, if you work hard, you can make it if you try.  On Small Business Saturday, we rededicate ourselves to ensuring ours in a country where small businesses can thrive.

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