The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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November 30, 2013

Small businesses offer perks for local shoppers today

CLINTON — In the wake of Black Friday, shopping enthusiasts have another opportunity to get their loved ones, or themselves, the perfect holiday gift this year.

The fourth annual Small Business Saturday kicks off today and a variety of local, independent businesses will join others across the nation to take part in the newly established shopping tradition.

The event, created in 2010 by American Express, is an opportunity for independent businesses to get in on the hype surrounding Black Friday, without competing against multi-chain, big-box stores like Walmart and Target.

“American Express was one of the founding partners of small business Saturday and it’s really kind of taken on a life of its own,” Buddy Gourmet owner Maggie Stafford said. “The idea is, not only is it important to shop local, but that when you’re doing so, you’re benefiting the whole community. When you shop local, it really does stay in the community.”

The slogan, “Get out and shop small,” has been coined by American Express, and as interest for today’s event continues to grow, local business owners are starting to see more and more advertisements promoting the day.

“Everything I’ve seen on Facebook and commercials on TV is “shop small,” so there’s lots of encouragement to shop small,” Deja Vu owner Lou Ray said. “I think it’s a wonderful program. There are a lot of small businesses out there and it’s nice for people to remember us.”

In order to ensure that recognition, some local businesses are taking marketing measures into their own hands.

Paul’s Discount Store typically hasn’t promoted Small Business Saturday in the past, but owner Rob Cassidy and some of his management team have decided to join in this year with the hope of boosting holiday sales.

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