Thanksgiving officially kicks off the holiday shopping and giving seasons. In Southwest Florida, that may have a different look in 2022 because of Hurricane Ian. However, celebrating the holidays with family marks an important return to “normalcy” for those impacted by the storm.
Looking ahead, there are two activities certain to occupy our time in the coming weeks – shopping and giving.
Time to Shop
The days following Thanksgiving cater to shoppers, with three “holidays” offering ample opportunities to buy, buy, buy. The National Retail Federation (NRF) estimates that holiday-related retail spending will rise 6-8% over last year. That equates to $942.6 billion to $960.4 billion in holiday spending.
“While consumers are feeling the pressure of inflation and higher prices, and while there is continued stratification with consumer spending and behavior among households at different income levels, consumers remain resilient and continue to engage in commerce,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said.
Friday, Nov. 25, 2022
Black Friday is often considered the busiest shopping day of the year full of bargains and doorbuster specials to generate foot traffic. However, it’s become more than just a day to shop.
“For many consumers, Thanksgiving weekend shopping is not just about the sales,” the NRF notes. “It’s a tradition or something to do with friends and family over the holiday season.”
Although Black Friday is often associated with big-box stores, small, locally owned businesses also participate.
Small Business Saturday
Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022
American Express created Small Business Saturday in 2010 to encourage people to “shop small” and bring more holiday shopping to small businesses.
“The holidays are all about giving, and the best gift you can give local businesses is your support,” according to American Express.
According to the U.S. Small Business Association, small businesses of 500 employees or less make up 99.9% of all American businesses and 99.7% of companies that have paid employees.
Monday, Nov. 28, 2022
The term Cyber Monday was coined in 2005 after data showed spikes in online sales on the Monday after Thanksgiving. Today, small businesses join big-box counterparts in offering exclusive online sales.
In 2021, NRF estimated 77 million people shopped online during Cyber Monday. Much like retailers extended Black Friday deals over a week or two, Cyber Monday has evolved into Cyber Weekend or Cyber Week for many businesses.
Time to Give
Many individuals and businesses consider donating to nonprofits at the end of each year. Certainly, there are tax benefits that make monetary contributions worthwhile, but year-end donations also help provide solid footing for nonprofits heading into the new year.
There are three steps to the giving process:
- Choose a Cause: Identify an issue or movement that has a personal or emotional connection – education, health care, social services, poverty, hunger, veterans, animal welfare, the environment, senior citizens or any other cause.
- Find a Local Nonprofit: Choose a nonprofit based in the area or a national organization with a significant presence in the region. Review the organization’s mission and vision to make sure it aligns with your values. Review the nonprofit’s annual impact report and financial statements.
- Determine your Level of Support: Monetary donations large and small are immensely important to fund nonprofits. Many organizations also appreciate in-kind donations of professional services or supplies. Volunteerism is another way to donate; those who give their time, talent and voices are just as valuable.
Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022
Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2022, Giving Tuesday is an international movement created a decade ago with a simple purpose – encouraging people to do good. Supporting local causes through monetary donations, in-kind donations and volunteerism are the pillars of Giving Tuesday.
READ MORE: Priority Marketing’s ‘How to Help’ Guide
Priority Marketing proudly partners with dozens of local nonprofit organizations making a difference in our community. Below is a list of charitable organizations in Southwest Florida that rely on philanthropic support to carry out their missions:
Bobby Nichols Fiddlesticks Charity Foundation
Boys & Girls Club of Collier County
Boys & Girls Clubs of Lee County
Cajun Navy Ground Force
Charity for Change
Child Care of Southwest Florida
Collier Community Foundation
Conservancy of Southwest Florida
CROW Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife
Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge
Dress for Success of SW Florida
Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce Foundation
Growing Climate Solutions
Guadalupe Resale Shop
Guardian ad Litem Foundation
Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties
Hope Healthcare Services
Housing Authority of the City of Fort Myers
Immokalee Fair Housing Alliance
IMAG History & Science Center
Jewish Federation of Greater Naples
Kids’ Minds Matter
Lee BIA Builders Care
Lee County Bar Association
Lee County Black History Society
Lee Health Foundation
Legacy Foundation at Gulf Harbour
National Alliance on Mental Illness-Collier
One Way Out Ministries
Pace Center for Girls, Lee County
Partners in Care
Pine Manor Improvement Association
ReStores of Lee and Hendry Counties
Southwest Florida Music Education Center
Southwest Florida Community Prayer Breakfast
United Way of Lee, Hendry & Glades
Warriors Community of Southwest Florida