City to hold Small Business Saturday seminar

Staff Reports • Updated Sep 27, 2016 at 3:00 PM

Mark those calendars for Small Business Saturday on Nov. 26 and some events leading up to the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  

Small Business Saturday is a day where every shopper can play a part to support their local economy and the small business owners who provide the majority of economic growth. 

“Small businesses are the foundation of our economy – our community thrives on the fact that our residents either work at a small business or own a small business,” said Sarah Haston, Lebanon economic development director. “Small Business Saturday is an opportunity to show support for our friends and neighbors who, throughout the year, are growing our local economy, as well as supporting many local initiatives and organizations.

“We are committed to helping our local businesses grow and thrive all year round and especially this holiday season. We want to encourage everyone to shop small and stay here in Lebanon to support each other.”

First there was Black Friday and then Cyber Monday and now Small Business Saturday – designed to help drive shoppers to small local businesses. Haston partnered with Lebanon-Wilson County Chamber of Commerce president Melanie Minter and Historic Lebanon executive director Kim Parks to create a Small Business Saturday event for the city. 

The first component of the event will be Thursday at 8:30 a.m. at the Mill in Lebanon. It’s a shop small marketing seminar designed to help the small businesses with a digital marketing plan. 

“We want to provide the city with an overall cohesive marketing strategy that will help build momentum for Nov. 26,” Haston said. “By shopping local and small, the majority of the money stays within the community. Small business owners and Main Street businesses are the fabric of our daily lives. When I meet with these owners and workers, it doesn’t take long to see their energy and passion for what they do. When we support small businesses, jobs are created and local communities preserve their unique culture.

Haston said the Thursday event is designed for retail small businesses. 

“We encourage you, if you have a product or service to sell, plan to be open for business Nov. 26 and would like help to promote your business, please join us for this free workshop,” Haston said. “You will receive the how tos of social media, effective methods to make your messaging go further, a digital marketing calendar, posters to advertise and you will be a part of the consumer giveaway. 

“We have designed a mobile experience for all of the shoppers that day, and each person will have the ability to check into our event from their cellphone while they are shopping, and one winner at random will be selected to win a large goodie basket.” 

Each business owner will have an opportunity to win additional advertising during the fourth quarter of the year to help promote his or her business, as well, Haston said. 

“We encourage all small businesses to join us,” she said. “We are also encouraging consumers to dine small by grabbing a bite at a local eatery, so if you are a small restaurant please feel free to join in the event with us.”

A second event will be featured Nov. 15 at 8:30 a.m. also at the Mill for any businesses that are participating to come out, pick up their shop Small tote bags, marketing materials and build more digital partnerships. 

“Small Business Saturday also provides us an opportunity to honor and celebrate the hardworking men and women that are creating jobs and fueling the Lebanon economy in their local neighborhoods,” said Mayor Philip Craighead.

Haston asked that anyone who plans to attend to RSVP and anticipates the seminar Thursday to last about one hour. Call the Lebanon-Wilson County Chamber of Commerce at 615-444-5503 or email [email protected] for more information or to make a reservation.


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