Local business owners to take part in Small Business Saturday
Nov 22, 2012 (Menafn - Ventura County Star - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --While major stores, malls and shopping centers in the county are preparing for Black Friday, small-business owners are gearing up for a day this weekend specifically for them.
Small Business Saturday, a promotion started in 2010 by credit card company American Express, is aimed at supporting independent stores throughout the country.
Amid television ads touting huge department store sales, a 32-second commercial urging people to "Shop Small" is drawing attention to Small Business Saturday.
Shoppers who use their American Express cards that day will receive a 25 credit if they spend 25 or more at a qualifying small business.
But the day isn't just for American Express cardholders. Anyone can shop and receive deals at participating businesses.
Participating stores have signs noting they are a qualifying store. For a list and map of participating stores, shoppers can go to https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/Shop-Small.
Business owners can use the website to print signs and gather tips for the Saturday event. Ventura County business owners are taking advantage of the support.
Trek Bikes in Ventura, which will offer a 20 percent discount on its entire stock of apparel, shoes, tools and bikes, is one of the stores participating in Small Business Saturday.
Owner Jeff Byers said small businesses like his find it hard to compete with larger retailers.
"There is a lot of pressure ... because if you don't take part in Black Friday, you won't do any business," Byers said. "Having a day for small stores helps put the word out there and brings exposure to remind people there are places to shop other than places like Target."
For the past two years, the Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce has taken steps to reach out to local entrepreneurs with tips on how to showcase sales on Small Business Saturday.
"It's a great opportunity for local mom-and-pop stores," said John Tolson, the chamber's director of marketing and membership. "You do get better service and you are able to avoid the crowds if you support a local business. You don't have to spend a week sleeping on the street in line to get better deals."
Loretta Cabuyadao, owner of Kopy King on Tapo Street in Simi Valley, printed out free signs for shop owners to display in their shops on Saturday.
She said Small Business Saturday is slowly receiving local recognition.
"A lot of people saw the commercial on TV and realized that it was well-promoted national campaign, and that they should jump on that bandwagon," Cabuyadao said. "We are trying to keep people to think and support small businesses, not just on that day, but hopefully every day."
Map: Black Friday sales in Ventura County "
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