Small Business Saturday: support local businesses in the Fargo area

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — It is the traditional start of the Christmas shopping season: Thanksgiving kicks off what many are calling "Cyber Week," made up of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday.

Cyber Week accounts for as much as 20 percent of all online shopping for the year, according to softwaremaker Adobe, which analyzes retail and other industries.

Since its inception, customers have spent an estimated total of $85 billion at independent retailers and restaurants, according to American Express. We commissioned a county-level economic analysis to provide a closer look at the economic benefits of shopping locally, Walter Frye, American Express VP of Global Brand Engagement, tells Yahoo Finance. The analysis found that approximately 67 cents of every dollar spent at a small business remains in the local community, so consumers local impact during the important holiday shopping season could be significant.

With so much money being spent, Target 8 went to Phil Catlett, CEO of the Better Business Bureau Serving Western Michigan, to find out what to watch out for while shopping. His first piece of advice was not to get lured on by a great deal from a questionable site.

Retail stores arent the only businesses that benefit from Small Business Saturday. The initiative also spotlights locally owned restaurants and cafes. Carlos Suarez, owner of Rosemarys Restaurant and three other eateries in Manhattans Greenwich Village, has observed the changing habits of diners around the holiday season. Five years ago, I dont think many restaurants were open for Thanksgiving, and now its actually quite common, and all our restaurants are packed on Thanksgiving, he tells Yahoo Finance.

"You should check and verify that that website's been around for a while and what their history is," he said. "They may have done a great job of imitating the real website, and before you know it, you might have sent money, they might tell you to get a card where you take the serial number off the back to make your purchase with, or it could just be identity theft. All those things are good to look out for at this time of the year."

Over the 2017 Thanksgiving shopping weekend, mobile orders surpassed desktop orders on every day but Cyber Monday. The BBB is warning customers to be careful what apps and accounts they access on public Wi-Fi. Public Wi-Fi is not as secure as your home network and could put you at risk of identity theft.

"There are known vulnerabilities and if you don't have the latest updates on your app or the latest updates on your phone, hackers might be getting into your device and you might regret it lately later," he said.

For McGowan, being able to identify with her customers is key. There are lots of families in this neighborhood, and theyve been incredibly welcoming to us, she says. Im a local mom just like my customers, and so when I am choosing stuff for the store, Im coming from that perspective of being a local mom and what I know my community is looking for. And people really seem to appreciate that.

While many think of scammers targeting the elderly, young consumers are increasing being made targets, especially when it comes to email phishing scams that seek to steal someone's identity.

"They (younger people) have clean credit histories, so what a wonderful opportunity for a scammer, and this is the time of year that this tends to pick up," Catlett said.

The BBB has more advice for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday shopping on its website.

ST. GEORGE — What started as an effort by American Express to encourage people to begin shopping at small businesses around the holidays quickly became nationally recognized as Small Business Saturday, a day for local businesses to offer discounts and promotions the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

Ninety-one percent of consumers polled for the 2018 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey believe it is more important than ever to support small businesses this holiday season, and 83 percent plan to do at least some portion of their holiday shopping at a small, independently owned retailer or restaurant, either in person or online.

American Express first launched Small Business Saturday in 2010, during a time when small businesses were still reeling from the Great Recession, to encourage holiday shoppers to spend their money in local economies, according to American Express Shop Small.

By 2011, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution supporting the cause and officials in every state participated.

On Nov. 16, the Senate passed two resolutions to commemorate the 30-year anniversary of the Womens Business Act of 1988 and to recognize Nov. 24, 2018 as Small Business Saturday.

The Downtown Long Beach Alliance will be hosting an event at that looping silver structure on Pine Avenue and Ocean Boulevard, where you can take photos with the Grinch, hear live music by local bands, get your face painted, drink a Grinch cocktail and more, from 2 to 6 p.m. Also at The Loop, pick up a map and catch a free trolley to multiple small businesses throughout downtown—from The Streets to Shoreline Village— to shop and dine. Check out the event page here for all the info.

The bipartisan Small Business Saturday resolution was made to join the Small Business Administration to recognize the contributions that small businesses make to the national economy, celebrate small-business owners, acknowledge the importance of creating business-friendly policies for small-business owners and supporting young entrepreneurs.

Small businesses provide amost two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. and employ nearly 48 percent of private sector employees, according to a press release from Sen. Orrin Hatch. There are over 30 million small businesses in the U.S., representing 99.9 percent of all businesses in the country and making up 97.6 percent of firms that export goods.

Support this cluster of shops and restaurants right on the citys shoreline by shopping small from 1 to 5 p.m. Free live music, a YMCA gift wrapping station, a train shuttle to the aquarium and free shoreline village tote bags will be up for grabs for the first 300 shoppers. Lots of specials, including a free churro with the purchase of a funnel cake at Funnel House, will be offered during the event. More info here.

Since the start of Small Business Saturday customers have spent an estimated $85 billion at independent retailers and restaurants, according to an American Express survey.

Small Business Saturday in Bixby Knolls will kick off at 9 a.m. encouraging shoppers to get to know and support local businesses in the area. A couple deals worth noting: Liberation Brewing Co. is offering happy hour prices all day, while Commit2Fit is offering free 30-minute workouts (where you can burn off all those beer calories). Check out the event page here for all the specials being offered.

This year, the Business Resource Center at Dixie State University has organized around 20 local businesses in St. George to participate in Small Business Saturday with sales, events and giveaways, according to a press release.

While youre at it, make sure to stop by MADE by Millworks between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m. Shop to live music all day, check out an enamel pin show, have your gifts wrapped for free and meander through the gallery where the extra bitchin Stoked: Surf, Skate, BMX Art & Photo Exhibit is on view through mid January. For more info, visit the link here.

Many of the participating business are are located in the the shops at Green Gate Village in downtown St. George, where shoppers will receive free hot chocolate and a free tote bag with every purchase. A list of all participating businesses in St. George can be found online.

A small business has a lot of products that Amazon doesnt, they have a lot of products that other companies dont, they have something unique, said Peter Fuller, marketing and events coordinator for the Business Resource Center. And even if its not at the steepest discount, thats kind of their bread and butter is something unique, something fun something from the heart.

Down a couple blocks on Redondo Avenue is Burke Mercantile x Kuarto, where you can enjoy free mimosas and light fare while shopping from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Theres plenty of gifts to find at the high-end boutique, offering wares from independent designers with a mind toward sustainable production. Check the event page here for more info.

Besides traditional shopping, The Southern Utah Museum of Art in Cedar City is offering a Small Business Saturday sale from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. as it debuts this years seasonal merchandise including ornaments, holiday cards and handmade candles.

Arguably the place to be in this arts-forward area (the East Village) is the 6th annual Makers Mart, which features a curated market showcasing small businesses, artisans and designers, in-store happenings, live music and more all organized by MAKE Collectives. The market runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Theres more info here.

Shoppers will receive a mystery discount of 10-25 percent off their total purchase and kids have the opportunity to participate in a make-and-take activity from 2-4 p.m. Donations will also be accepted to benefit Iron County Care and Share.

American Express launched Small Business Saturday eight years ago to support the small ventures hurting from the recession. Always the Saturday after Thanksgiving, its now an annual tradition to shop small for the holidays, with Long Beach businesses—from entire corridors to pop-ups—celebrating the occasion.

Shoppers arent the only ones who have to prepare for holiday shopping. TDS Telecom offers seven tips for businesses who wish to participate in Small Business Saturday:

Shopping at small businesses not only boosts the local economy and provides an opportunity to give gifts that are not readily found at larger retailers, but it also helps to support local business owners and their families, Fuller said.

We forget that we want to get our family members something unique, something cool, and at the same time how awesome it is to support small business. Support someone whose livelihood this is. Support them so that they can buy holiday presents for their family, Fuller said. Thats the spirit that we want to get people into. Support others with your holiday shopping.

Posted in Fargo