On October 20th, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) wants consumers to think small and spend big during Canada's first Small Business Saturday.
Sponsored by the CFIB and Interac, Canada's Small Business Saturday offers business owners a way to reach out to new consumers through the event's website and social media feeds. While not affiliated with the U.S.-based American Express Small Business Saturday, the events' goals are the same: to get consumers out of big box stores and into local businesses.
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"The ultimate objective is to help small firms grow their businesses by getting new customers and reminding Canadians—not just on Small Business Saturday, but year round—of the importance of visiting small companies," says Dan Kelly, CFIB president and CEO.
Small Business Saturday coincides with the final day of Business Development Bank of Canada's Small Business Week, the 32 year-old celebration of entrepreneurship that features conferences, trade fairs and networking events across the country.
Shopping may be the focus for consumers on Small Business Saturday, but Kelly hopes they'll take away more than just shopping bags from the event.
"People like to live in areas where there are lots of boutiques restaurants, shops and services, but sometimes people forget that for those places are businesses with an owner trying to put food on the table for his own family," says Kelly.
The CFIB also hopes to use the event to raise awareness among consumers and politicians about issues facing small business owners and the role they play in Canada's economy. The CFIB points out that small businesses employ approximately five million Canadians and account for 42% of private sector GDP.
Business owners can register for Small Business Saturday and find free promotional materials at www.shopsmallbiz.ca.