Are you stressing out over this upcoming weekend? It can be a busy and stressful time of the year for any business owner but also very beneficial—if done right. This weekend we have Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, then Cyber Monday. For those of you who don’t know what these are, let me break them down for you using Google web dictionary. Black Friday: The day after Thanksgiving, noted as the first day of traditional Christmas shopping, during which crowds of consumers are drawn to special offers by retailers. Small Business Saturday: Small Business Saturday is an American shopping holiday held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving during one of the busiest shopping periods of the year. Cyber Monday: The Monday following Thanksgiving, promoted by online retailers as a day for exceptional bargains. The newest of these shopping holidays is Small Business Saturday. During 2010 American Express introduced the idea in order to make consumers more aware of the impact small businesses have on the United States and their local economy. The following year, in 2011, the U.S. Senate officially made the Saturday after Thanksgiving “Small Business Saturday.” AMEX didn’t know what to expect when they first launched Small Business Saturday back in 2010. It has been gaining traction every year since. According to research done in 2012, sixty-seven percent of consumers knew about Small Business Saturday but knowing is only half the battle. Small Business Saturday is a great thing for promoting and educating Americans about local businesses. The main goal of this day is to get more consumers to build relationships with small business owners. The best way to do that is for small business owners and consumers to both participate. Don’t worry if this is your first time hearing about Small Business Saturday or you haven’t done anything to prepare for it yet as a small business owner. Here are some simple things you can do to get ready for this weekend: \tHead on over to ShopSmall.com to get resources in order to promote Small Business Saturday. \tRead: “Small Steps To Success: 10 tips to rally your neighborhood this Small Business Saturday” You might not be able to complete some of these due to late notice but, it’s nice to keep these in mind for next year. \tTalk about it wherever you can. Promote what your business is doing for Small Business Saturday to your friends, family, neighbors, and (of course) your customers. Don’t forget to get on your social media accounts and do some promotion as well. \tSBA.gov has a list of articles explaining how to participate as well. Participating as a consumer is fairly easy. Here are five things you can do as a consumer (the first four you don’t even have to leave your computer): \t“Like” the Official Small Business Saturday Facebook Page. \t"Follow” the Shop Small Twitter account. \tCheck out the Small Business Saturday Map for businesses participating near you and find out where you are going to shop come this Saturday. \tTell your friends you are going to participating in Small Business Saturday this year. Share it on Facebook and Twitter. You can even share what stores and products/services you’re going to buy. \tGet out of your house and go shopping at local small businesses this Saturday. Small Businesses are the lifeblood of this nation. They create more jobs than any other type of business. The best part of small businesses is when you shop locally at independent small businesses; fifty-two percent of what you spend stays right in your community. Small Business Owners, good luck this Saturday! Consumers, get out there and help fuel someone’s American dream by shopping small. Don’t forget to have a great weekend!