Did you remember Small Business Saturday? Now in its second year, the program sponsored by American Express aims to draw attention to local businesses for post-Thanksgiving shopping.
“I did patronize a couple local businesses in my neighborhood Saturday for that reason, but truth be told, I tend to shop local for everything I can, including Christmas presents," says Zoe Saint-Paul, local blogger and founder of SlowMama.com
Neighborhood retailers were offered an advertising boost this year featuring politicians like U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin encouraging Marylanders to “Shop Small” this holiday season. Cardin, a Democrat who represents Maryland, recently co-sponsored a bill to give Small Business Saturday an official designation and date in 2011.
Alexa Webb, owner of Alexa Webb Artisan Jewelry
in Federal Hill, says sales from Small Business Saturday increased 480 percent this year compared with last year. Webb credits the advertising campaign in part.
According to the National Retail Federation, an estimated 212 million shoppers spent $45 billion on consumer purchases during Thanksgiving weekend last year. Figures are not yet available for this year.
Writer: Amy McNeal
Sources: National Retail Federation; Alexa Webb, Alexa Webb Artisan Jewelry; Zoe Saint-Paul, SlowMama.com; the Office of U.S. Senator Ben Cardin