Small Business Saturday encourages public to shop local

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ST. GEORGE – Shoppers have a choice between battling the crowds at retail stores on Black Friday, or staying at home and waiting to order items via the internet on Cyber Monday. For years, these have been the two big shopping days following Thanksgiving; there’s now there’s another to consider: Small Business Saturday.

“No one remembers the small businessman on Black Friday,” said Comics Plus owner David Roland.

While hordes of people scramble to the retail giants like Target, Wal-Mart and Barnes & Noble, Roland’s own store is quiet during the post-Thanksgiving shopping frenzy. That is bound to change on Saturday, Roland said, because tomorrow marks the third annual Small Business Saturday event created by American Express. According to the ShopSmall website, the event was created to: “…help small businesses get more exposure during one of the biggest shopping weekends of the year. Last year, over 100 million people came out to shop at independently-owned small businesses on the day. Now, in its third year, Small Business Saturday will be even bigger.”

“We’re the backbone of America,” said Randy Shaw, owner of Little Professor Bookstore in St. George.

Shaw said one of the strengths of a small, local businesses like his is that it is able to maintain a level of independence not afforded to larger, national retailers. He said this allows him to cater to the local market better by carrying particular titles, as well as providing a section in his store for local authors.

“By shopping or dining at a small business this Nov. 24, you’re showing your support for all the small communities around you,” the Shop Small website states. “This means you could be helping local entrepreneurs offer more jobs, which in turn invigorate the economy…This year, go out and support your favorite small business and search for savings on unique merchandise while experiencing spectacular service – a cornerstone of many small businesses.”

Roland added that by bypassing the Black Friday madness in favor of smaller businesses, consumers will have smaller stress.

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