With the intense shopping weekend surrounding Thanksgiving fast approaching, small business owners can revel in the recent creation of Small Business Saturday.
Strategically placed between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday will take place Nov. 26. Created by American Express, the day aims to support the local businesses that create jobs and boost the economy. The event is sponsored by a large number of businesses all over the country.
In order to promote the event, American Express gave $25 to 100,000 card holders to shop at local businesses that accept American Express. The company also gave $100 worth of free Facebook advertising to 10,000 business owners.
According to American Express, small businesses have created 65 percent of net new jobs over the past two decades. For every $100 spent in locally-owned stores, $68 is returned to the community through taxes, according to the 3/50 Project, a small business advocacy group.
North Hudson shoppers will surely take solace knowing that streets such as Bergenline Avenue are heavily populated with small businesses, some of which have been a staple of the North Hudson Community for many years. Other cities such as Hoboken, Jersey City, Bayonne, and Secaucus also have an easily accessible community of local vendors and mom and pop stores.
Small Business Saturday was launched last year in order to encourage shopping at small businesses during the weekend following Thanksgiving. While the invention of Cyber Monday was a big benefit to big-box stores, Small Business Saturday helps encourage and remind residents to save some of their holiday shopping for local businesses.
“Small business is the engine of job creation in the US economy,” said American Express Chief Executive Officer Ken Chenault when the idea was first implemented last year.
“By spreading the word about Small Business Saturday,” continued Chenault, “we can help raise awareness about the critical role small businesses play in cities and towns across the country.”
The idea was also supported by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the glue that holds communities together,” said New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg last year.
For North Hudson towns, many of the most prevalent small businesses lie among the highly popular Bergenline Avenue, which a 40-block street running through North Bergen, Guttenberg, West New York, and Union City.
Hoboken shoppers often enjoy the many small businesses located along Washington Street, which was named one of the Ten Great Streets for 2010 by the American Planning Association.
Bayonne and Secaucus have also been sprucing up their shopping areas.
“I think that Small Business Saturday is a wonderful tool to encourage people to shop,” said Mary Divock, executive director of Bayonne Town Center Management. “It makes us a real community and neighborhood.”
“[It] gives more businesses the recognition they deserve,” continued Divock. “The people that run these stores are relatives and neighbors, and we need to support them.”
For more information and a full list of sponsors, visit www.smallbusinesssaturday.com.
Stephen LaMarca may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.