This year for Small Business Saturday, the Superior Business Improvement District and the Superior-Douglas County Area Chamber of Commerce will be launching a new Sensory Friendly Shopping Initiative.

The goal is to make holiday shopping a little easier for individuals and families of those with various challenges who want to have the same experience as a “typical” family.

Why make an effort to be sensory friendly? There are more than 50 million consumers with disabilities in the United States, representing 18 percent of the population, nearly 1 in 5 Americans. Millions of people with disabilities regularly travel, shop and eat out with family and friends and spend over $175 billion annually. In the U.S. over 22 million families have at least one family member with a disability and the disability market is loyal to businesses with disability-aware customer service and accessibility.

Our aim this Small Business Saturday is to invite your business to set aside at least one hour on November 30th to help make shopping easier for those affected by sensory processing disorder. Sensory processing refers to the way the nervous system receives messages from the senses and turns them into responses. Those suffering from SPD do not always appropriately process sensory information and perceive and/or respond to sensory information differently than most people.

We have provided a flyer with simple ideas on how to make your business environment more sensory friendly. If you are able to provide any of the sight, sound, smell, lighting, or physical space adjustments at your business, we would love to hear about it and promote it to the public. We will list your business as a Small Business Saturday Sensory Friendly Stop and provide you with a Sensory Friendly Stop poster to hang in your storefront window or door to promote your participation.

Please let Nikky Farmakes at the Chamber know if you plan to hold at least an hour of sensory friendly shopping at your business by emailing or call 715-394-7716. Let’s make this Holiday shopping season the best one ever!