Big push for small business

November 23, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Next in line for the busy shopping weekend is the local business owner. Small businesses are not seeing the massive lines like the big box stores do for Black Friday. Independent business owners are hoping crowds show up to support 'Small Business Saturday.'

Many local shops are pushing their big sales for Saturday. At the Beautiwood Furniture store in north Fresno many items will be marked down 20 percent. Those are deep discounts for some local operations.

"We don't usually go that big, unless we're doing a big clearance sale," said Beautiwood manager Karen Mansfield. "But we're taking advantage of this Small Business Saturday, and going to make it worth their while for people to come in."

In Downtown Fresno, Melanie Davis is preparing the Twee Boutique for a Saturday full of shoppers. Davis not only offers unique items like these 'I love Fresno' t-shirts and Valley-made Christmas decorations, she's also offering a 10 percent discount when customers donate five dollars or five canned food items to benefit Fresno High School.

"We just figure, at this time of year, people, if they want the big sale, they can also give a little extra to the community," Davis said. "At the same time we sell a lot of locally made items. So the money is actually going back to the people in our community."

Celeste Alexander of Fresno said she loves the idea of buying local. "It's America, you know? Only in America can we start our own business and have whatever we want in it. We need to keep those things," she said.

And in Northwest Fresno The Laundry Room is continuing its Black Friday sales on Saturday. At the locally owned clothing store shoppers can even take advantage of a 'Buy four get five free' sale.

The Laundry Room said shoppers are looking for more than just a chance to keep their money in the Valley.

"We get really personal with our customers, and we like to have a close relationship with them all," said employee Breanna Dalmatoff. "They know that and they come back, it's not just our clothes, it's us, too."

The campaign was launched by American Express three years ago. The company said last year more than 100 million people turned out nationwide.


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