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Don’t forget Small Business Saturday when making your shopping plans

A shopper visits Old Town Clovis businesses on Small Business Saturday 2016.
A shopper visits Old Town Clovis businesses on Small Business Saturday 2016. Fresno Bee file

After the hustle and bustle of Black Friday shopping, many consumers will turn their attention to small, local businesses to celebrate Small Business Saturday.

FBEE 2020 BLAIR LOONEY circle

Small Business Saturday was founded in 2010 by American Express, a BBB Accredited Business. Since then it has turned into an annual tradition dedicated to supporting small businesses, and celebrating communities across the country with a record level of support.

According to the Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, an estimated 112 million consumers shopped small on Small Business Saturday in 2016, which is a 13 percent increase from 2015. Not only was there an influx in consumers, but there was in influx in neighborhood champions as well. There were over 6,700 neighborhood champions who organized events and activities to rally their neighborhoods last year, which was a 63 percent increase from the year prior.

Better Business Bureau Serving Central California & Inland Empire Counties is proud to support Small Business Saturday for the sixth year, and urges consumers to support the small businesses in their community. BBB also recommends the following tips to #ShopSmall this Small Business Saturday:

Do your research – Be sure to check businesses ahead of time with BBB, and find out what past customers have to say. Find out which stores and businesses in your area are participating in Small Business Saturday by visiting shopsmall.org.

Get involved – Many communities are hosting special events, and being involved in Small Business Saturday shows that you support the businesses that make your community unique. Find out what local events are happening in your area on the Small Business Saturday website or check with your local chamber or merchants’ association.

Invite friends and family – Supporting local businesses can be a great event shared with friends and family members. You can visit your favorite local stores, try some new ones, or get a head start on the holidays. No matter what you choose, you’ll be enjoying this time with some loved ones.

Social media – Small businesses recognize the power of social media. To get the latest news, sales and promotions, follow small businesses on social media. Many of them will post information there first. Use #ShopSmall to search for information or to share plans with your friends.

Sign up for email alerts – Many stores share Small Business Saturday specials via email. Be sure to sign up to receive emails from your favorite local businesses so you don’t miss out.

Receipts and warranty information – When purchasing a gift for someone, it’s always smart to ask for a gift receipt. This way the recipient can easily return or exchange a gift if need be. It’s also appropriate to pass along any warranty or return information that is tied to the item purchased.

Action Line is written by Blair Looney, president and CEO for the Better Business Bureau serving Central California. Send your consumer concerns, questions and problems to Action Line at the Better Business Bureau, 2600 W. Shaw Lane, Fresno, CA 93711 or info@cencal.bbb.org.

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