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Shop locally on Saturday

Don’t plan on putting away your credit card between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. New York City announced the first ever Small Business Saturday, in an effort to bolster sales at local stores.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and American Express chair and CEO Kenneth Chenault launched “Small Business Saturday,” on November 8, a nationwide campaign to spur business for small merchants on November 27.
Calling them the “backbone of our economy and the glue that holds communities together,” Bloomberg said, “This year, if you have the opportunity to shop on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, make it a point to visit local small businesses. It really can make an enormous difference for merchants in our communities.”
According to the website, American Express® Cardmembers, are eligible to earn a $25 statement credit on any purchase of at least $25 on Small Business Saturday at any locally owned independent small businesses that accept American Express. The offer can be redeemed by registering your American Express Cards at SmallBusinessSaturday.com/Enroll. Terms apply, available herewww.facebook.com/SmallBusinessSaturday.
For business owners who sign up at www.facebook.com/SmallBusinessSaturday they will receive a $100 Facebook advertising credit to help build online buzz and drive customers to spend at their businesses on Small Business Saturday. Other promotional materials and a number of social media tools to promote your business are also available.
Carol Conslato, president of the Queens Chamber of Commerce said “I think it’s fantastic for small businesses, especially those in retail.” She said that the event will encourage the community to shop locally and be an “excellent opportunity to give our retail members a little edge.”
The effort is not intended to compete with the major mall shops and national retailers like Target and Walmart, which may offer steeper discounts, but to encourage consumers and communities all over to support their local small businesses.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there were nearly 28 million small businesses in the United States last year, and over the past two decades, they’ve created 65 percent of net new jobs. And for every $100 spent in locally-owned, independent stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll and other expenditures, according to the small business advocacy group The 350 Project.
“Supporting small business strengthens our economy and helps to create jobs and vibrant neighborhoods,” said Small Business Services Commissioner Robert Walsh. “Small Business Saturday will raise awareness about the importance of shopping locally and at the same time give a boost to merchants.”
In order to spread the word, American Express launched a national advertising and social media campaigns through Facebook and Twitter. For more information for business owners and shoppers, log onto smallbusinesssaturday.com or facebook.com/smallbusinesssaturday.
“As we’ve seen with Black Friday and Cyber Monday, as word gets out, this will only grow and help foster some local sales,” said Conslato.

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