Traditionally, the Thanksgiving weekend is associated with the start of the holiday shopping season, with the big department stores advertising aggressively to attract shoppers. However, the beginning of the shopping season is not only about the big stores. The region’s small businesses also play a significant role in the region’s retail sector and has a particular appeal for shoppers.
Saturday, Nov 26 marks the seventh annual Small Business Saturday designated to support small businesses on one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year.
The thousands of small business in the region, included the majority of Caribbean-American businesses, are again urging shoppers to “Shop Small” at their favorite small business establishment on Saturday, and boost small business sales.
Small Business Saturday is the brainchild of American Express, meant to assist the nation’s small businesses counter the patronage big businesses receive on Black Friday and Cyber Monday (the Monday following Black Friday allocated to Internet sales). Small Business Saturday encourages holiday shoppers to patronize small and local brick and mortar businesses.
Joe Bush, who manages a strip-mall with 16 small businesses in West Kendall, says he’s optimistic businesses in the location will benefit again this year. He said for the past five years he has seen a definite trend to small business shopping not only on Small Business Saturday day, but every Saturday. “Because the small business sector is so very competitive, business owners are focused on quality of their products and services, presentation and customer service. “I can assure shoppers they’ll find very good bargains with small business retailers this year.”
Carmen Laing, originally from Trinidad and Tobago, owner of a craft/gift shop in the Kendall strip-mall for the past four years, lauds the focus on small businesses with Small Business Saturday. “This has given invaluable recognition to small businesses. People have come to realize the uniqueness of the items they can find in small stores and love the personal and warm customer service most small business operators give. Definitely, my business has grown because of Small Business Saturday.”
The executive director of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) the nation’s small-business association, Tom Scott, said, ““Small Business Saturday has grown every year, and we are very proud to sponsor the promotion….. “It’s a very important day to recognize small business owners. We hope more Americans participate on Saturday and they keep small businesses in mind throughout the year.”