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Yesterday, Mayor Bloomberg kicked off the Small Business Saturday initiative at a press conference with American Express CEO and Chairman Kenneth Chenault at Rothmans on Park Avenue South. As the name implies, Small Business Saturday is meant to highlight local shopping, and will take place on November 26th. So after you stand in line at Best Buy for a new TV on Black Friday, head over to the LES or the West Village for some local shopping on Saturday.
Chenault began his speech with the obvious: "When we asked small business owners what they need most, their resounding answer is: more customers!" But this isn't the first year of the project; American Express also ran with the initiative last year, but DNAinfo reports that "many Manhattan retailers expressed disappointment with the program last year, telling DNAinfo that they either didn't know about the initiative or hadn't seen any difference in sales." Chenault, however, notes that those who participated saw a 28% sales increase.
This year, Amex promises to make it even bigger, and has brought on 200 advocacy partners and 50 elected officials throughout the country to push the idea of going indie on Thanksgiving weekend. And in addition to just shopping in stores that already exist, there will also be special neighborhood pop-up competitions, which according to DNAinfo, "will make vacant spaces availing to retailers willing to fill temporary shops." So in case you needed an excuse to go shopping, here it is.
· Mayor Bloomberg Kicks Off Countdown to Small Business Saturday [DNAinfo]
· Small Business Saturday [Facebook]