The last two years have not been kind to small businesses, making Small Business Saturday 2021 a particularly important holiday to observe. Your decision to shop small this year can make or break a small business in your community! (Trust us, we’re a small business that services other small-to-medium-sized businesses, so we’re very familiar with the struggle.)
Rather than guilt-tripping you into shopping small, however, we’re hoping to sweeten the deal for you instead. Complete 5 local-business-supporting activities to earn a bingo on Odd Dog’s Small Business Saturday bingo card for your chance at one of four fantastic gift baskets, each featuring more than $200 worth of fun items from Seattle businesses.
What is Small Business Saturday?
Quick recap: Small Business Saturday is a national shopping day held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving during the country’s busiest shopping season. On this day, shoppers are encouraged to support small, local businesses, rather than purchase their holiday gifts from large, big-box companies.
Why Shop Small in 2021?
There are lots of reasons to support small businesses in your community! For one, opting to shop small stimulates your local economy, creating local jobs and encouraging the recirculation of funds in your area. Additionally, local, independent merchants strengthen product diversity in the community, ensuring shoppers find holiday gifts that are thoughtful, unique, and creative. And, on a more sentimental note, shopping small fosters a sense of community between local shoppers and business owners.
Shopping small and local in 2021 is particularly critical to the success and stability of these communities. The COVID pandemic has presented small businesses with a whole load of unfamiliar issues, and — while it may seem like this pandemic is old news at this point — the world is still dealing with the impact of the shutdowns and shortages. In fact, disruptions to the global supply chain in the last year or so (and a large-scale misplacing of shipping containers, if you can believe that) have dramatically increased the price to send and receive products/supplies internationally, effectively pricing out any businesses other than the largest distributors in the world. This makes it all the more difficult for our small, local businesses to get their hands on the supplies needed for their goods and services, while the big-box stores (who can purchase at premiums in bulk) fill their shelves. We highly recommend listening to The Daily’s episode “The Great Supply Chain Disruption” for more information.
We get it – shopping at large retailers is convenient, especially when they’re the only places with your favorite items in stock. For items that you can really only get at a big-box store anyway, ordering them from a larger retailer can mean saving both time and money. If you’re reading this blog post, though, chances are you’re starting the shopping early this year — so you’ve got plenty of time to find the perfect gifts for your loved ones locally. Get rewarded for your decision to shop local by playing bingo with Odd Dog!
Odd Dog Small Business Saturday 2021 Bingo
Odd Dog’s Small Business Saturday bingo is back by paw-pular demand! Same rules as last year, but bigger prizes and more time to complete your bingo cards. Anyone in the US is encouraged to participate.
Small Business Saturday Bingo Instructions
1. Save Bingo Card
You can download Odd Dog’s Small Business Saturday bingo card by clicking on the bingo card image, which will open a new tab in your browser and allow you to save it as a .png file. Feel free to mark the card digitally or print it to play.
- Save Image – Click the bingo card image above to open it in a new tab in your browser, then right-click to “Save Image As…” a .png file.
- Take Screenshot – Click the bingo card image above to open it in a new tab in your browser, then snap a screenshot of that bad boy (especially handy for mobile users).
- Print – Click the bingo card image above to open it in a new tab in your browser, then click your browser settings to find a “Print…” option.
Feel free to mark the card digitally or print it to play.
2. Cover 5 Boxes in a Row to Get a Bingo*
If you choose to print your card out, please mark your squares clearly with a marker or pen (or actual bingo chips, if you happen to have those lying around). For those who opted to keep it digital, you can cover the squares by editing the file, marking a square each time you complete the task within it.
3. Submit Your Completed Bingo Card
Once you’ve got a bingo, upload either your 1) edited bingo card file or, 2) a photo of your printed bingo card, using the form below. We’re operating on the honor system here — don’t forget Santa is watching.
4. Don’t Stop There*
Cover as many squares as you can, even after you’ve already bingo’d!
*Earn multiple bingos to be entered for a bonus prize: Wine Class for 2 ($130 value) from Wine Outlet!! Each extra bingo is an entry to win the bonus prize!
5. Tune In for Raffle Results
We’ll be selecting 4 raffle winners at random on December 20, and will announce the winners on our blog, Facebook, and Instagram. An Odd Dog will reach out to you personally if you’re a winner, but give us a follow on any of these platforms for more bingo and dog-related content.
Odd Dog Small Business Saturday Cheat Sheet
Not sure where to start, or feeling overwhelmed by the thought of it all? No worries! Here are a few ideas to get the gears turnin’ as to how you could mark off each of the bingo squares on our cards.
Shout Out a Local Business –
- Are you a regular at a coffee shop, bar, or restaurant? Advocate for them on social!
- Do you absolutely adore the product you purchased from a local business? Snap a pic and tell them why!
- Is a business in your area offering a really killer sale? Let your friends and followers know!
Write 3 Positive Reviews on Google –
- Are you a regular at a coffee shop, bar, or restaurant? Leave ‘em a review!
- Have you had a particularly pleasant experience at a business? Leave ‘em a review!
Take a Class at a Local Studio –
We know you’ve been eyeing that ceramics class for a while now. Well here’s your excuse to take the plunge!
Small service-oriented businesses were some of the hardest hit by the pandemic. With things starting to feel a little more normal, now’s your chance to try out a boxing class, aerial yoga, perhaps a wine class, or even water aerobics!
Swap for Local: Skip Your Next Amazon Order –
A few questions to ask yourself before submitting your next Amazon order:
- Could I find a version of this at a local shop?
- Is this something I could borrow from a friend?
- Is there a better place for me to buy this – maybe a small online vendor?
These are productive questions to ask each time you consider an online purchase. And if you answered no to all of the above, you can confidently proceed with your order.
Shop at Your Local Farmers Market –
There are a few year-round farmers markets in Seattle, along with festive holiday markets cropping up all over town. Below are a few ideas to get you started!
- Capitol Hill Farmers Market: Sundays 11–3
- Ballard Farmers Market: Sundays 10–3
- University District Farmers Market: Saturdays 9–2
- Pike Place Market: Everyday 9–6
- West Seattle Farmers Market: Sundays 10–2
- Holiday Market Calendar for further inspiration
Run a Local Errand for a Vulnerable or Elderly Friend –
Icy roads and winter weather can make a trip to the grocery store feel like a nightmare for some. Already braving the cold tomorrow? Offer to shop for your neighbor while you’re out!
Comment on a Small Business’ Social Media Post –
… we feel like you know the drill with this one.
What’s in the Raffle Basket? Check Out Our Generous Clients/Donors
Almost forgot the best part! The Odd Dog team did a little shopping around our office in Fremont and filled a few prize baskets with fun items we think represent that energetic, quirky Fremont spirit. You’ll also find generous donations from a few of our clients in the baskets, including an entire basket for man’s best friend donated by Mud Bay. In the spirit of promoting small businesses whenever possible (even if they’re not our clients), we’ve given a shoutout to each business featured in our baskets below, but have indicated which have generously donated vs. we purchased from.
Thank you to our generous donors!
- Ebullient Marks Calligraphy
- Aslan Brewing Co.
- Fremont Mischief Distillery
- Theo Chocolate
- Caffe Ladro Coffee
- Portage Bay Goods
Odd Dog Local Pledge: Shop Small This Holiday Season
To sign off, the Odd Dog pack wanted to encourage you once again to shop small this holiday season. Local businesses are the foundation of local communities, and they could use our support now more than ever. You can start by taking the Odd Dog Local Pledge with us and using the hashtag #ODLocalPledge on your social media platform of choice.
Stay safe, and Happy Holidays!
Love, the Odd Dog pack