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Tips for SMBs looking to Make the Most of Tax-Free Weekends

July 25 2017
As summer comes to a close, the back-to-school shopping frenzy is in full swing – and some states are helping families save a few bucks on school expenses.

Toward the end of each summer, participating states hold a Tax-Free Weekend. And this year, 16 states are eliminating or reducing taxes on items like clothing, school supplies and computers.

These weekends provide a valuable opportunity for small businesses to bring in more shoppers. Here are some ways SMBs can make the most of a Tax-Free Weekend:

Get a head start on marketing: By the time advertisements are posted, it might be too late for customers who’ve already done their back-to-school shopping – or decided to spend the Tax-Free Weekend with a competitor. Businesses can make themselves the go-to place for summer deals by promoting sales sooner rather than later.

Stand out from the pack: Tax-Free Weekends are busy, so each business should have a unique way to stand out. From offering coupons to coming up with a creative campaign, businesses can use a variety of strategies to persuade shoppers to choose their shop over the competition. For example, contests are an easy way to promote tax free items and get customers to help spread the word. Businesses can craft social media posts promoting tax-free items, then offer a prize or an additional discount to customers who share the post with their followers.

Display tax-free products: Whether it’s on a storefront display or the website, businesses should showcase the specific products customers can save on. Since offerings vary from state to state, physically highlighting tax-free items may be enough to bring people into their shop.

Tax-Free Weekends provide many opportunities for communities to save, so don’t miss the chance to take advantage of your state’s Tax-Free Weekend. Search below to see if, and in what ways, your state is participating.

State

Dates

Items

Alabama*

July 21-23

Clothing, computers, school supplies, books

Arkansas

August 5-6

Clothing and footwear, clothing accessories, school and art supplies

Connecticut

August 20-26

Clothing and footwear

Florida

August 4-6

Clothing and footwear, wallets, handbags, backpacks, computers, school supplies

Iowa

August 4-5

Clothing and footwear

Louisiana

August 4-5

Personal property <$2500 (3 percent tax)

Maryland

August 13-19

Clothing and footwear

Missouri*

August 4-6

Clothing, school supplies, graphing calculators, computers and computer software

Mississippi

July 28-29

Clothing and footwear

New Mexico

August 4-6

Clothing and footwear, school supplies, computers and computer peripherals, backpacks

Ohio

August 4-6

Clothing, school supplies, instructional materials

Oklahoma

August 5-7

Clothing and footwear

South Carolina

August 4-6

Clothing and footwear, clothing accessories, school supplies, computers

Tennessee

July 28-30

Clothing, computers, school and art supplies

Texas

August 11-13

Clothing and footwear, school supplies, backpacks

Virginia

August 4-6

Clothing and footwear, school supplies, emergency preparedness items

 

* Excludes some counties.

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