Local stores hope shoppers choose Small Biz Sat.

November 23, 2011 6:43:48 PM PST
Mom and pop shops are reaching out to shoppers this Thanksgiving weekend. While the big retail stores are pushing their inventory on Black Friday (or earlier), small businesses are asking customers to buy locally and spend their money on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

The city of Alameda hopes the so-called "Small Business Saturday" will inject life into the city's mom and pop stores.

"We just put up the Christmas banners and the lights; there is free parking on the meters on the weekends starting after Thanksgiving," West Alameda Business Association spokesperson Judi Friedman said.

Because Alameda is an island, it is somewhat isolated; that's why it has a higher concentration of mom and pop stores.

"In these economic times it's very challenging for everybody, but for small business owners in particular; we are so lucky to live in Alameda to have such a wealth of different variety of stores," Alameda resident Rosemary Lynch said.

According to the Small Business Administration, smaller establishments have been especially affected by the hard economic times.

Small Business Saturday was first introduced by American Express. It says last year small businesses saw a 28 percent rise in sales among customers who used their AmEx cards. This is the second year promoting Small Business Saturday.

"We really keep the money circulating within Alameda which helps our local economy but I feel like mom and pop shops like Toy Safari offer a lot more options than a lot of retail stores do," Jasmin O'Neill-Martin said.

"We try our best to give the best customer service so they come back," Mahesh Shah said.

President Barack Obama is showing his support for small businesses, callimg them the backbone of our economy.


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