Shoppers turn to neighborhoods for Small Business Saturday

Author:
Updated:
Original:

The Pioneer Press has a list of events in honor of Small Business Saturday. The term was coined by American Express four years ago in the depths of the recession. It's helped local retailers market themselves, but it doesn't pack the same fourth-quarter wallop that Black Friday does for the big guys.

Instead, like many small businesses, St. Paul-based Creative Kidstuff counts on a steady stream of loyal customers all year long.

"I can't count on any one day to make the season," said Roberta Bonhoff, CEO of Creative Kidstuff.Still, free snacks are on hand,and, she said, employees are ready to offer one-on-one advice to customers who ask for it.

Mary Leonard, owner of St. Paul sweets shop Chocolat Celeste, said she makes more than half her revenue during the holidays. Increasingly, Leonard has been looking to online shoppers.

"I work very, very hard at the Internet," Leonard said. "We spend a lot of time there, so our website is higher on the search engines."

Experts say search engines make it easy for shoppers can go online, and still stay local.

"Google loves local business," said Tim Carroll, vice president of customer engagement at Deluxe, a business services company in Shoreview. He said 78 percent of shoppers plan to do some of their holiday buying on the internet.

"Local search results get preferential treatment there," he said.

KSTP reports that some retailers like Bibelot Shops are offering small discounts.

WCCO says others are banding together in joint marketing efforts. Twelve stores in the North Loop are participating.

“We are hoping to have new people to come in, hoping to celebrate being a local store,” FinnStyle manager Elina Koivusaari said.

"What was really exciting to us is the idea that there are so many great retailers down here, but we all do different things," said Ben Morrison, owner of Handsome Bikes. "We don’t step on each other’s toes. There’s plenty for room for everybody.”

Roe Wolfe, a women’s store, is making pop-up space available for local designers who don't have their own storefronts. Plus it is offering discounts and snacks.

According to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, some critics say the event was invented to benefit American Express more than small businesses.

But American Express says it doesn't matter which card you use on Small Business Saturday.

A spokesperson for the event says participation grows every year.

"In my 25 years in retail, I've never seen an event have this kind of a positive effect for small business," said Patricia Norins. She said last year 100 million consumers "shopped small."

Next Up

Sergio Romo

Twins decline 2021 option on Sergio Romo

The Twins begin a potential overhaul in the bullpen.

high school football

'Scalpel approach' gives MN schools chance to keep playing sports

County infection rates are no longer the only thing that matters.

CJ-AHyggeHoliday-Photo2

With the help of HVAC, Circus Juventas will host its first holiday shows

After months of canceled classes and shows, Circus Juventas is hosting its first ever holiday show, with safety precautions.

Cameron Dantzler

Vikings send Cameron Dantzler to COVID-19/reserve list

Dantzler's placement leaves the Vikings paper-thin at cornerback heading into Green Bay.

peterson fischbach

Elections 2020 preview: 7th Congressional District

Will Collin Peterson hang on for yet another term?

Zimmer and Hunter

Zimmer explains why he called Hunter's neck injury a 'tweak'

The coach also said Dalvin Cook should return from injury this week.

magazines

60 charged in magazine scam that netted $300M

It's being called the largest elder fraud scheme in the country.

Screen Shot 2020-10-28 at 10.30.23 AM

The Star Tribune is shutting down City Pages

The free newspaper was bought by the Star Tribune in 2015.

billy's on grand

Coronavirus: Billy's on Grand will close for winter

The restaurant is among a growing list of eateries to close for the winter months.

Related

"Small Business Saturday" offers shoppers a repreive from Black Friday chaos

Community stores and no lines. The movement stresses more casual, personalized shopping experiences that small business owners argue only they can provide.

Federal funds will bolster Minnesota small business

When Minnesota entrepreneurs are in need of cash, many of them end up in the offices of local non-profits. Some of state's most generous non-profits when it comes to business lending are getting $4.5 million from the federal government to help out Minnesota businesses.