As the nation enters the busiest shopping time of the year, Mayor Chris Beutler today encouraged area residents to shop at locally-owned retailers. He gave his support to two retail promotions:
The Mayor was joined by representatives of the DLA, the Nebraska Retail Federation, the Chamber of Commerce, the Lincoln Independent Business Association and local retailers at a news conference at the Post and Nickel, a family-owned business that has been in downtown for 45 years.
"We are fortunate to have many fine national retailers in our community, but it's our locally-owned stores that create a sense of place and make our community unique," Mayor Beutler said. "These businesses also have a major economic impact on our community. The Small Business Administration (SBA) tells us that small businesses represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms and employ half of all private sector employees. I urge residents to do business with these outstanding local firms all year round."
Over the past two decades, 65 percent of net new jobs were created by small businesses according to the SBA. The 3/50 Project, a small business advocacy group, reports that for every $100 spent at locally-owned independent store, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll and other expenditures.
DLA's "Shop the Blocks" features 17 retails stores and a variety of downtown restaurants. To participate, shoppers check in at the Hour Lounge, 14th and "O" streets," between 5 and 8 p.m and purchase a $5 all-access pass. The pass is good for discounts, food and access to chauffeur service. Shoppers will receive one raffle ticket for every $20 in purchases, and the drawing will take place at the after-party for participants at the Hour Lounge. More information is available at shoptheblocks.com.
American Express is promoting Small Business Saturday – which falls between "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday" – at www.smallbusinesssaturday.com. The first 10,00 business owners who sign up at Facebook will receive $100 of free Facebook advertising. The company will give a $25 statement credit to 100,000 American Express Cardmembers who register their cards and use them November 26 at any locally-owned, independent small business that accepts American Express.
In the first year of Small Business Saturday in 2010, 200,000 customers registered their American Express cards, and small retailers who accept the credit card saw a 28 percent increase in sales when compared to the Saturday after Thanksgiving in 2009. More than 100,000 small businesses downloaded marketing materials.