Small Business Saturday Hopes to Lure Customers to Local Retailers
Small Business Saturday, an initiative started last year by American Express to encourage bargain-hunters to patronize local businesses instead of the usual corporations, is underway Saturday, Nov. 26.
Traditionally, Thanksgiving weekend is known for its incredible bargains from huge retail corporations such as Sony, Best Buy, Target and Walmart. Shoppers get up early both on Black Friday and the newly celebrated Cyber Monday, the online shopping day of the year to hunt down the best deals.
But in an effort to help out small businesses that can't offer as spectacular deals as international corporations, American Express partnered with local shops across the U.S. last year to encourage shoppers not to forget their community retailers. It's doing it again for Small Business Saturday 2011.
If a shopper registers beforehand, American Express offers a $25 credit if they spend $25 or more on their American Express credit card, according to the Huffington Post.
Efforts by small businesses nationwide to reel in customers Saturday include holiday-themed events and deals, free food, cross-store promotions and coupons for future purchases. Small businesses stressed the sense of community among them, and many are offering maps with all the participating businesses or coupons for a sister retailer.
This year, president Obama endorsed the effort in a blog post, calling it a day that can "keep our local economies strong and help maintain an American economy that can compete and win in the 21st century," the blog post on his website read.