Shopping Small: Small Business Saturday gives local merchants chance to shine

Published 11:26 am Thursday, November 22, 2018

WEST POINT – Gus and Skip Darden are ready to use the more than 100 years of customer service at Darden Brothers Shoe Store Saturday during Small Business Saturday.

The shoe store will have a 20 percent sale on many apparel items and additional deals on shoes this weekend as the focus from big box stores start to wear off from Black Friday and focus on the smaller businesses.

The spotlight on small businesses was created by American Express in 2010 and coined Small Business Saturday, as a way to help small businesses get more customers. The celebration has become an annual shopping tradition on the Saturday following Thanksgiving.

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Gus Darden, owner of Darden Brothers, said the weekend does get busy, but it’s just the start as the holiday shopping season starts to get into full swing.

“We get hammered right before Christmas,” he said. “It’s already starting to pick up.”

Darden’s son, Skip Darden, said it’s good to see a day focused on smaller businesses.

“We are glad to get attention from the consumers for Small Business Saturday,” he said.

According to American Express, an average of two-thirds of every dollar spent at small businesses in the country stays in the local community. The credit card company claims $0.44 goes to the small business owner and employee wages and benefits, and $0.23 gets reinvested in other local businesses from employees shopping.

According to a Small Business Economic Impact Study from American Express, each dollar spent at small businesses also creates an additional $0.50 in local business activity as a result of employee spending and businesses purchasing goods and services from other small businesses.

“What began nine years ago as an effort to support local stores during the holiday shopping season has become the Shop Small movement, bringing together millions of shoppers, small businesses of all kinds, civic leaders and organizations in thousands of towns and cities across the country,” said Elizabeth Rutledge, Chief Marketing Officer at American Express in a news release. “Shopping small has a significant and positive effect on local communities, and we hope Small Business Saturday will help to amplify that effect during the crucial holiday shopping season. When we spend local, small businesses thrive. And when small businesses thrive, we all thrive.”

The National Retail Federation is forecasting that more than 67 million consumers in the United States will be shopping the Saturday after Thanksgiving and nearly 78 percent will be out with the specific goal to support small businesses.