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Small Business Saturday Could Be Big Boon for St. Charles Businesses

The program, on Nov. 26, aims to provide an alternative to the Black Friday shopping blitz at national chains.

The second annual Small Business Saturday is two days after Thanksgiving, and seems to be gaining momentum with customers and locally owned businesses.

The effort is a way to focus attention on small businesses and regain a portion of the shoppers who flock to big box and chain stores on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

 “I think there’s a backlash against some of the big corporations and more people are shopping at locally owned businesses,” said Jeff Weintraub, owner of , with stores on the University City Loop and in the Central West End.

There are some great deals at small businesses, especially on Small Business Saturday, Weintraub said.

What's the deal?

American Express and Patch are partnering to offer a deal to participating businesses and their customers. If a participating restaurant offers a $10 meal for $6, American Express pays the remainder of the $4 to the business, said Jeremy Fuhriman, regional publisher for Patch in Missouri.

“It’s a great deal for small businesses, because their customer gets a discount, they get the full price for the meal, the exposure from the advertising and customers are their business spending money,” Fuhriman explained.

Shoppers who use an American Express card at a participating small business. Card holders can check for the Small Business Saturday poster in store windows to find participating vendors.

“You can come in here and buy a set of $45 earrings and get $25 back from American Express,” Weintraub said. “That’s a sweet deal.”

To get the deal, just do the following:

  • Register an American Express card online
  • Spend $25 or more using the registered card at a small business on Saturday, Nov. 26
  • You receive a $25 credit on your account.

The small business difference

Weintraub said The Silver Lady will have posters up at its two locations, and is encouraging participating in Small Business Day on its website.

“I think people get tired of waiting in long lines,” Weintraub said. “There’s still crazy deals out there, but we do this type of thing every day. Plus we only do one thing, and we’ve been in business 25 years. I think we know what we’re doing.”

Scott Tate, president and CEO of the , said many studies have shown that shopping at locally owned businesses has a greater economic impact on a community than shopping at big box or chain stores.

An Andersonville Study of Retail Economics in Chicago found that spending $100 at a locally owned store produces $68 in additional local economic impact, while doing the same at a chain store produces $43 in local impact.

Tate said that small business owners often have a great sense of community.

“They’re the ones who contribute to local charities and efforts,” Tate said. “They have a vested interest in making sure their community is nice."

Kemery Baldwin November 22, 2011 at 04:37 PM
Thanks for promoting Small Business Saturday. Now, let's make more days small business days! Small business is Big Business. I stay home on Black Friday and no shopping on Cyber Monday.

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