How to Maximize the Impact of Small Business Saturday

Note: This blog post was also featured on Rethink Red Tape, a coalition formed to examine the impact regulations have on small businesses, our communities and our country, and advocate for smarter regulations and regulatory reforms that will protect the public interest while also helping small businesses grow. Visit their page at http://rethinkredtape.com/ 

Over the next week, the holiday shopping season kicks into high gear, and some shoppers have already scouted out prime Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. But the day my employees and I — and many of our friends, families and neighbors — are most excited about is Small Business Saturday, Nov. 26, when communities shop their local stores, find great bargains on gifts and give the area economy a boost.

As rewarding as Small Business Saturday can be for shoppers, I think it’s more exciting for business owners. As founding owner of the clothing franchise MODE (home of the $40 designer jeans!), it is so gratifying to see customers excited to shop at stores where small retailers carefully refine their product offerings and work to create a welcoming retail space, all with community members in mind. On Small Business Saturday, it’s hard not to feel the love from our customers.

But there are plenty of small businesses who won’t, unfortunately, feel the same appreciation on Saturday, simply because they are business-to-business, don’t have a brick-and-mortar retail location, or offer products or services that don’t make ideal holiday gifts.

As I’ve built my business, I’ve met many of these passionate, dedicated small-business owners — can Small Business Saturday be a reminder to recognize non-retail small businesses as well? They are creating local jobs, generating revenue and keeping money in the community, and deserve the spotlight just as much.

One of the best ways to support small businesses in all locations and in all industries — all 365 days a year — is to be an advocate for reform of the federal regulatory process. Often, rules come out of Washington unexpectedly — rules that did not take the small-business perspective into account and that end up costing small-business owners significant time and money in order to comply. While a bigger business might have a full-time lawyer on staff just to deal with regulations, often times that is just not something small businesses can afford. Calling on policymakers to make the regulatory process more inclusive and understandable, and to ensure that final rules have been subject to a thorough cost-benefit analysis, is a simple step anyone can take to support local small businesses.

At MODE stores on Saturday, my employees and I will be doing what we love: helping our neighbors score great looks at fantastic prices. But my hope this that retailers will not be the only ones feeling the love on Small Business Saturday — I want to see communities supporting all types of entrepreneurs and small businesses, and doing so year-round by advocating for a better rulemaking process that creates jobs and builds communities. How’s that for a good deal?

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