ESCANABA - In the past few years, many small businesses have participated in a national initiative to attract consumers in what is known as Small Business Saturday. This year, the push continues with many local small businesses planning to take part.
Small Business Saturday, which falls on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, is nestled between shopping holidays Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Founded by American Express, the initiative first began in 2010 as an effort to help small businesses get more exposure during one of the biggest shopping weekends of the year.
The goal of Small Business Saturday is "to support small businesses that invigorate the economy and keep communities thriving," according to the Small Business Saturday website.
More than 100 million people came out last year to shop at independently-owned small businesses around the United States.
Peggy Schumann, owner of Positively! The Center for Success in Escanaba, said they will be offering discounts as part of Small Business Saturday.
In addition, Schumann highlighted Positively's holiday campaign for people to avoid the "holiday hangover."
The campaign promotes spending responsibly, buying gifts with intention, and reducing spending greatly, so when January rolls around, shoppers don't feel bad about how much they spent and aren't left to pay off credit cards months after the holidays.
"If people stay away from all the marketing hype, I think they can have a meaningful Christmas and not be regretting it and wondering what happened to them in January," she said. "And part of that is the small, local businesses are thankful for any business you do with them, and they're your neighbors, they're your friends. They want to work with you to make Christmas more meaningful."
Nyman Jewelers of Escanaba is also participating in Small Business Saturday.
"I truly believe it's important to shop locally and support the businesses," said Joanne Amis of Nyman Jewelers, noting the business supports people locally by donating to various causes and local events.
"I think it's a courtesy to your fellow citizens to at least try to find something locally," she added.
For those on the look-out for tools or other hardware merchandise this Saturday, Swanson's Hardware Store in Gladstone and Escanaba's T & T True Value Hardware will also feature sales.
T & T True Value Hardware manager Leo Evans noted that with small businesses like many in the downtown Escanaba area, customer service is key.
"If it's not for the ma and pa stores, a lot of the big stores don't have the customer service," he said. "We know a lot of our customers by name."