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Small businesses step out of Black Friday’s shadow

November 22, 2012 • Business


In this Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, photo, Adrienne Sherard relaxes as she gets a spa treatment at Eden Organix spa from owner Valerie Mason-Robinson, in Highland Park, N.J. After the crowds have shopped at large stores and sprawling malls on Black Friday, many smaller businesses are hoping Saturday will be their day. Eden Organix, a spa in Highland Park, N.J., will give customers a 10 percent discount on the products it sells from 9 a.m. to noon, says owner Valerie Robinson who is promoting the event on Facebook, Twitter and on her own website. She doesn’t expect to get a big revenue boost from the day, hopes it draws in new clients and cements her relationship with current ones. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

NEW YORK (AP) — After the crowds have shopped at large stores and sprawling malls on Black Friday, many smaller businesses are hoping Saturday will be their day.

Thousands of small stores, restaurants, spas — and even dry cleaners — across the U.S. will offer their own discounts and promotions to draw holiday shoppers on what’s known as Small Business Saturday.

American Express created the day three years ago, it says, to help small businesses struggling during the recession. The credit and charge card company encourages cardholders, who have registered in advance online to make purchases with their cards in exchange for a $25 rebate paid for by American Express, if they buy something at a participating business. American Express won’t say how much the promotion costs, but Susan Sobbott, president of American Express OPEN, the company’s small business division, says it is a considerable amount.

But even small merchants who aren’t officially part of the event hope to get a bump in revenue during a weekend when they used to be all but forgotten in an avalanche of deep discounts offered by big stores and online retailers. Perhaps more importantly, the day has become an opportunity for small businesses to build a corps of customers who will keep coming back Login to read more

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