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Every day is Saturday until the new year.
The success of Small Business Saturday, a new initiative jointly launched this year by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and American Express in hopes of boosting support for local stores on the Saturday following Black Friday, has led the credit card company to extend the program through Dec. 31.
The extension means that more people are being enticed through a variety of deals and other means to shop locally in December.
“We’ve all heard about Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This year, if you have the opportunity to shop on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, make it a point to visit local small businesses. It really can make an enormous difference for merchants in our communities,” Bloomberg said in a statement.
The original Small Business Saturday was a smashing success, according to Harry Rutgers, owner of Bell Family Jewelry in Bayside.
“It’s the best thing anybody ever did and the nicest thing,” said Rutgers, who said several customers told him they were patronizing his shop on account of the new initiative. “I think they [shoppers] have been holding back for the past two years. I think they are finally ready to open their pocketbooks.”
But that sentiment was not held by every shopkeeper in the borough.
Marc Pine, owner of Instant Replay vintage shop in Forest Hills, said he did not see a major difference in sales numbers as a result of the new shopping holiday.
“They are all in the malls, but that’s OK,” Pine said. “In my store, you get things you can’t get anyplace else.”
Participants who register their American Express cards for the Saturday event can take advantage of a number of perks, including $25 credits for customers spending money at small businesses and $100 in free Facebook advertising for participating small businesses.
“Small business is the engine of job creation in the U.S. economy,” American Express Chairman and CEO Kenneth Chenault said in a statement. “It is also among the sectors hardest hit by the recession. By spreading the word about Small Business Saturday, we can help raise awareness about the critical role small businesses play in cities and towns across the country at a time when they need support the most.”
Reach reporter Connor Adams Sheets by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4538.
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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