By Kim Hilsenbeck
Big box stores get a lot of attention – and customers – during the holiday season. But Small Business Saturday (SBS), scheduled for Nov. 29, aims to shift some of that focus to local businesses, including so-called ‘mom and pop’ shops.
Diana Blank-Torres, Kyle’s director of economic development, said SBS, an initiative started by credit card company American Express, promotes awareness of and encourages local support of small businesses.
“It is extremely important to support local business not only to give them more of a chance to thrive, but to also aid in expanding options because new businesses considering communities watch the success of existing business,” she said.
Blank-Torres said the city already promotes local businesses with its “Shop Local Kyle TX” app and SBS is just another opportunity to capitalize on that message.
Executive Director Adriana Cruz of the Greater San Marcos Partnership said nourishing local businesses is one of the key elements of GSMP’s economic development strategy.
“As the economic development arm for the city of San Marcos, Hays and Caldwell counties, we know that our mission of creating quality jobs and increasing the investment in our region is moving in the right direction when our local businesses thrive,” she said.
While not affiliated with American Express SBS, Cruz said her organization encourages the community to take advantage of the unique and diverse businesses in the region, not only on Nov. 29, but every day.
Ann Miller of the Buda Economic Development Corporation said SBS is about recognizing and encouraging people to support small, local businesses during the holiday shopping season.
“Small Business Saturday benefits small businesses because it is a great opportunity for businesses to capitalize on the free advertising provided by American Express as part of the overall campaign,” she said.
According to Miller, American Express cardholders can get back up to $30 when they shop small on Small Business Saturday.
“They have to preregister but if they spend $10 at a small business that is registered they will get $10 back on that purchase,” she said.
In 2012, Miller said it was estimated that $5.5 billion was spent at small, independent businesses on SBS.
“It’s not just stores either,” she said, “Many restaurants also count.”