Retailers in downtown Winona are hoping to entice shoppers with their "Not So Black Friday" event Friday, the Winona Daily News reports.
The event is being coordinated by the Winona Main Street Program as a way to protest the madness surrounding shopping events put on by larger stores and online merchants.
Not So Black Friday started as the "Holiday Window Walk" contest, where downtown merchants showcased decorations, but morphed into a larger initiative to get prospective shoppers into their stores.
The Daily News said about 20 businesses will offer sales of up to 50 percent off in their stores.
The paper said some retailers are offering free beer and chocolate as extra incentives to get people into their stores, while the Winona VFW is hosting a pancake breakfast.
The Star Tribune reported retailers in the Twin Cities are joining together as well to compete against big businesses on Black Friday.
Retailers in the W. 50th Street and Xerxes Avenue area have already been coordinating events like last weekend's "Shop & Stroll" -- where 14 neighborhood shops attracted prospective shoppers with refreshments and 20 percent discounts, the paper said.
Meanwhile, other smaller shops around the country are preparing for Small Business Saturday, which is coordinated by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The event annually encourages consumers to shop local.
The Minnesota Retailers Association said Small Business Saturday last year helped generate $5.5 billion in spending across the U.S.
Minnesota Business said there are 28 registered Small Business Saturday events scheduled for this weekend in Minnesota.