Nashville Shops Local Beyond Small Business Saturday

Nashville Shops Local Beyond Small Business Saturday
By Jerry L. Maynard II

Let’s face it! Nashville is on a growth trajectory that doesn’t seem as though it will slow down in the near future. We are on the radar for nearly every major company and thousands of individuals who consider moving to a vibrant, family-oriented city.

Recently, WKRN released a report indicating a reduction of small businesses. “While Nashville may be a great place for growing businesses, small, local businesses are becoming a less familiar sight. Out of town investors and chains are becoming the norm.” These small businesses must learn to survive against the changing landscape of our no-longer quaint city.

Small Business Saturday is a boon for local shops. Last year, 112 million consumers spent $15.4 million at such businesses, according to American Express, the company behind the shopping holiday founded in 2010. While we await the numbers for this year, what happens now that the major shopping days – Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday – are behind us? The answer can go either way and depends on our elected officials and each of us.

Nashville is known as a pro-business city; however, we need to become intentional with our approach because some businesses are being left out. We need to become a pro-small and pro-local business city to include women and minority-owned businesses. This will not happen on its own. Metro has created an environment for businesses to thrive but Metro must do more so small businesses can thrive.

Business owners must also step up by positioning themselves to compete in a big business arena. They need to vote with their wallet! In other words, they need to vote according to what is best for them financially and select leaders who will represent their best interest.

#NashvilleShopsLocal is a new hashtag campaign with a retail focus that The Maynard Group is launching to increase awareness of our small businesses, the importance of shopping local beyond the major shopping days and support the business owners who contribute to our city.

I’m a supporter of small business and minority inclusion and believe our city is better for it. Every industry and each person benefits from a diverse workforce, neighborhood, school and business. I’m also a proponent of entrepreneurs driving their own success by involving themselves in city politics and staying informed about big business opportunities. Employing a small staff doesn’t mean entrepreneurs cannot equip themselves to compete. However, the challenges of running your own business do present barriers to remaining informed, as entrepreneurs focus on operating their business.

The Nashville region is “home to more than 1.9 million people and more than 40,000 businesses,” according to the Nashville Chamber. “The Nashville region is defined by a diverse economy, low costs of living and doing business, a creative culture and a well-educated population.” 

There is plenty of room to compete. “Nashville ranks fifth in the nation for growth and 10th in prosperity,” as noted in a recent Nashville Business Journal, Diversity & Inclusion: Nashville is a tremendous success story — for some. Isn’t that great? But, here’s the problem. While we are top tier in the rankings for growth and prosperity, our city also ranks 73rd when it comes to inclusion. In my next post, I will respond to diversity and inclusion in Nashville.

As a former council-member, I’m an advocate of entrepreneurs increasing their participation in all aspects of local government and helping them navigate their path to financial success. To reach as many small businesses as possible, my organization – The Maynard Group – is introducing a new feature of our website that will highlight entrepreneurs with 100 or fewer employees.

The Maynard Group’s #NashvilleShopsLocal will continuously circulate the message about shopping local beyond Small Business Saturday. The social media effort will consist of a free online business listing on The Maynard Group’s website (coming in January 2018) to highlight registered businesses, a digital promotional campaign and a business highlight in a local newspaper.

What can small businesses do now?

For now, business owners should visit JMaynardGroup.com to register their business.

Following is a list of Small Business Saturday related tactics that may inspire retail owners to jumpstart their marketing efforts for the next big holiday. The principles of marketing remain the same all year long.