NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Holiday shopping has officially begun, and tucked away between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is a shopping day known as Small Business Saturday, a day when everyone’s encouraged to “shop small” close to home.
Founded by American Express six years ago, Small Business Saturday is all about putting money back into the local economy.
Some people call Small Business Saturday the mom and pop version of Black Friday.
Wayne Milo of Northampton told 22News, it gives smaller stores the opportunity to draw in customers without having to worry about their corporate competitors. “They cannot afford the discounts that large corporations and companies in malls can. They can afford to give away larger discounts that smaller stores cannot,” he said.
But on Small Business Saturday, sale signs were plastered on the windows of local businesses selling everything from clothing to candy.
Matthew Redmond is a manager at Captain Candy in Northampton, and he told 22News the hype and buzz surrounding the shopping day seems to be catching on a little more each year. “It definitely gives us the edge because the local community will come out. Instead of going to the large chain stores, they’ll come here. It’s more of a personal connection with the customer and the employees,” he said.
That personal connection is one thing most small business owners can agree on.
Katie Rennie, the co-owner of 25 Central in Northampton said it’s what sets them apart from the big box stores. “On small business Saturday, it’s good to come out and get that interaction you don’t have at big box stores that you have here where, I know customers by name and we can help people pick stuff out, the things that you might not get when you go to other bigger stores,” she said.
This year’s Small Business Saturday was expected to be the most successful yet. American Express predicted sales to exceed $14-billion nationwide.