Small business look for local support this holiday season

Published 7:31 pm Friday, November 22, 2013

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Reeve’s Sales Associate Elizabeth Richard (right) helps Alex Byrd shop for a wedding gift — Powell Cobb

This coming Friday is the infamous Black Friday where shoppers either loath the long lines or flock to them with enthusiasm and strategic plans in the post thanksgiving sale.
According to the National Retail Federation, holiday sales are expected to increase by 3.9 percent this year from last year. The average holiday shopper spent close to $423 each in 2012 and that number is projected to increase in 2013 according to the NRF.
129 million shoppers logged online to shop during cyber Monday in 2012. Sixty nine percent of shoppers polled by the NRF said they were planning on shopping Black Friday. An additional 43 percent will make it out the following Saturday, which in Bainbridge and many other U.S. cities is considered “small business Saturday.”
Diane Strickland, executive director for the Bainbridge-Decatur County Chamber of Commerce said the chamber is participating in small business Saturday with American Express.
“The Bainbridge-Decatur County Chamber of Commerce intends to create a buzz in our city about Shop Small Saturday,” Strickland said. “The businesses we have enlisted to participate have agreed to draw attention to their business on Nov. 30 by displaying posters and balloons at their storefront and placing some sale items or specials out onto the sidewalk.”
There are ten participating businesses that accept American Express and will have five prepaid American Express Reward Cards valued at $25 each to give away to the first five shoppers at each store that spend more than $50.
Strickland said in addition to encouraging residents to shop on Black Friday, and all throughout the holiday season she would encourage residents to shop local and small business Saturday because that is who the chamber supports.
“Our chamber is made up primarily of small businesses, Strickland said. “Actually about 70 percent of our members are small businesses, so it’s very important we work for our membership and promote them to keep those dollars local during the holiday shopping period.”