Forget Black Friday – We’re All About Small Business Saturday!

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by Kelly Lucas, marketing and social media manager

It’s that time of year again. Time to brave the throngs of crazed deal-seekers of Black Friday and shop ‘til you drop! Or, for those slightly less insane and not so hot on getting elbowed for $5 mittens, there’s always Small Business Saturday. What’s that, you say? Never heard of Small Business Saturday? If that’s the case, shame on you because we wrote about Small Business Saturday on our blog last year. Here’s a quick recap:

Small Business Saturday 2012Small Business Saturday is a day dedicated to encouraging shoppers to support their local small businesses during the busiest retail weekend of the year. Many people will automatically go to the large retailers like Target or Macy’s to do their holiday shopping. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this; these stores provide jobs and income for many, many people and families. But in the midst of the hustle and bustle, why not invest a bit in your local community retailers as well?

I’m sure you’ve got a few favorite small shops you frequent. The atmosphere is wonderful, the people are great and the goods are often unique. Yes, it’s likely that you’ll spend a few bucks more on an item at these shops versus buying a similar item at a national retail giant. But you just can’t get that same quality of service or create those close relationships like you can at a smaller establishment. As a small business, we love that there’s been a push in recent years to reclaim the old downtown squares and the main streets from long ago.

But times are still tight for many. To help encourage patronage at small businesses, American Express (the creator and sponsor of Small Business Saturday) is yet again offering an extra incentive. If you have an American Express card, you can register your AmEx card and receive $25 off of your statement if you spend at least $25 at a small business on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. (There’s a limited number of credits available, so move quickly if interested.)

This is completely legit. I did this last year and the credit showed up just as promised. When I was making my purchase, I asked the store owner if this program had really done anything for the shop. Her response: “It’s been fantastic! I’ve done the best after-Thanksgiving business than I’ve done in years. For the shoppers, they love that they’re getting free money, but for me it’s real money and it helps.”

To find participating stores, you can use the store locator on the Small Business Saturday website. However, when I tried using it, I noticed that a few that I frequent weren’t listed, even though I know they are participating. So if you have some shops you like, call them and find out if they are participating, even if they don’t show up on the AmEx website search.

In closing, we’d like to share some of our favorite local businesses. We encourage you to pay them a visit if you are in the neighborhood this weekend. If you have a favorite small business, please add their websites in the comments section below.

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Small Business Saturday from Bonnie, Kelly and Sarah at BBR Marketing!

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