Don’t Shop Small on Small Business Saturday: Shop Big

I propose an energy shift around Small Business Saturday.

First, let me be clear: I love small business. I even own a couple. 

I love it when people choose small businesses for their holiday shopping. It truly supports the economy in meaningful ways. Putting money into a small business owner’s hands to allow them to grow, support their family and contribute. This is a nice sales bump and a great way to take a piece of the holiday shopping pie for many businesses where their communities have embraced it.

What I don’t like is the hashtag #shopsmall

Nor do I like the emphasis on it or the inherent hypocrisy.

Allow me to state my case before you decide I am a small business hater…

  • The hashtag:  #shopsmall
  • This hashtag is weak.  It is small and silly and holds limiting energy. Telling people to shop small at small business is offensive to me as a business owner. It feels like keeping small businesses small across the spectrum. I acknowledge this is the very nature of this business, but a small business can be big on energy and profits while still staying small in size…let’s let them get big on profits and energy.

    Look at who the primary backer and originator of Small Business Saturday is: a Credit Card Company. A BIG Business who benefits from you whipping out that card to shop small while the businesses pay the fees for you to use that card.

    Check out the history here.

    How about a fee free, Saturday Credit Card Companies and processors?  If we really want to care about small businesses, don’t charge us a fee for a day, let us take all the money home…just a thought. Our state governments can give us a tax-free weekend for school shopping, it’s not unheard of to consider at least.

    I am a believer in the power of intention and the power of words.  When we say, “shop small” and then head out to spend money, we are carrying small energy with us.  Small businesses need bigger energy.  We need more than the $2 sale, we need the $200 sale to stay afloat and thrive.  We need you to consider shopping BIG on small business Saturday (and beyond).

    It is fabulous that this idea has spread and become nationally recognized and grown every year.  But what if it wasn’t just a day?

  • The Emphasis.
  • The emphasis is silly to me as well.  I recently ran a free series targeting the gratitude posts that crop up about being grateful in November, but aren’t about creating a life habit of gratitude.  I say make gratitude a lifestyle habit. I find this in the same bag: build a habit and practice of shopping small, not just one day of the year. 

    Don’t be ticked when your favorite glass studio moves because you don’t visit it. Do more than shrug your shoulder when a specialty store closes it doors that you had been “meaning to visit” but never found the time.

    I, the small business owner, am here 365 days a year looking to support my family and grow in my abilities to extend new goods and services to you. Not just that Saturday after Thanksgiving.  

    Small Businesses deserve more than one day of magnanimity. You as a consumer, deserve more. What if your habits of looking in small businesses first helped small business ecosystems to thrive?

  • The Hypocrisy.
  • Small Business owners themselves need to also step up.  Small business owners need to also support other small business owners.  Where will you, small business owner, spend your dollars made from small business Saturday?  Will you head to a large grocery store to buy your food, or will you head over to the local store or co-op to share your dollars? Will you restock from the big wholesaler, or work with a small artist to fill your shelves?

    Small business owners, we can do better. We can make this more than a Saturday – we can make it a habit and a sustainable practice. By engaging in it ourselves, by acting the way we want others to act.

    Am I against Small Business Saturday? No.  But I am more in favor of a shift in all energies toward small business economic growth and health because there is a value shift to support it, not a holiday declared for it.

    I propose a new set of hashtags #shopBIGatSmallBusinessALLyearlong #Supportbigatsmallbusinesses #shopsmallbusinessallyear #shopbigatsmallbusinesssaturdayandbeyond

    That is my proposition: that we shift our energies from one day a year of investment in small business to a lifestyle commitment to shopping in small businesses. 

    Am I being a bit idealistic?

    I don’t think so, I live this way now.

    I am asking you to truly think about the lifestyle you are creating with your financial actions. 

    If this kind of thinking bigger, thinking in your own voice and shifting of mindset appeals to you, you’d better check out The Dangerous Elite Member Program – enrollment is open now through December 8th.        Learn more here

    About the Author.

    Jennifer Murphy Life Coach

    I am a certified personal and executive coach ruthlessly focused on helping people live awesome lives.  I spent a large chunk of my life pursuing other people’s ideas of success and while those experiences were sublime in some cases, they weren’t the “more” I was seeking and I just never felt full. In 2011, I made the commitment to live life on my terms and everything changed. The life I love today was created and I am here to share and teach you exactly how to do the same for yourself.

    I am founder of No Limits Life Empowerment Institute as well as a working glass artist, Reiki Master, Partner in Shaman Grocer in Iowa City, and Co-founder of the Midwest Reiki Festival.    My favorite time is spent doing anything soccer related with my aspiring world cup soccer player, 10-year-old Alexander.  I am also a pretty big fan of gaming (PS4) with my partner Craig while solving the world’s social problems. Learn more at



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