Let's Take Small Business Saturday to the Next Level

Small Business Saturday, an initiative founded by American Express, is a day set aside in November (this year it's taking place on November 26th) when people are encouraged to forgo the mall or the big box stores and buy from small businesses. It is one of the more impressive initiatives to help small business I have seen. In addition to generating awareness of the importance of buying from small/local businesses, the program helps generate an increase in sales. AMEX has put their marketing muscle and retail relationships (among other things) to great use with this innovative program. Now, I am wondering if we can take this to the next level. I will tell you now, I don't have the answers but maybe you do.

Small Business Saturday is primarily designed to help retailers. Approximately 20 percent of businesses with 500 or fewer employees are retailers. So I ask you, what can we do to help the other 80 percent of small businesses? This includes anyone from plumbers and contractors to the millions of "white collar" businesses.

As I said above, I don't have any solid ideas yet. But I do have a concept: can we use our influence or buying power with larger businesses to get them to purchase more services from small businesses?

Whether you like this concept or have another one, ideas please!