Local business owners see increasing holiday sales (Wausau Daily Herald)

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Local business owners see increasing holiday sales (Wausau Daily Herald)

With shoppers standing in line for door-buster deals Thursday and Friday at some of the nation’s top big-box retails, many central Wisconsin businesses were taking advantage of an increasing trend to focus  the day after Black Friday.

Small Business Saturday, created by American Express OPEN — the company's small-business unit — is in its fourth year and is designed to promote the importance of supporting small businesses  to local economies on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, according to the initiative's Facebook page, which had garnered more than 3.3 million followers by Saturday afternoon.

It was a promotion that touches all small businesses. We’re trying to get people to come out and check out all the independent, whether it’s the mom and pop or the small ones where it’s not just the massive chains. They have their place in the whole scheme of things too but to keep the individuality of different things available to people so it’s not just mass production. We have a lot of made in the USA. a lot of the other small businesses have their own niche where they have something special to offer that you can’t get at the chain stores, so we thought it was just a very good thing to promote the idea of small businesses to keep us all up and running and help each other out because as you know it cycles around

The money stays in the area the majority of it really has been more so than previous year. ... It’s definitely been much stronger this year. More people actually aware of it being a promotion that’s out there for small businesses.

I’d say the majority of the people in today are aware of it; we have specials today that I usually normally do not have on special at all basically during the year as a reward for people shopping on this day.

“It is important to remember that the small business community — including the smallest businesses, the self-employed and micro-businesses — is helping to strengthen not only our local economy, but our national economy as well,” said Katie Vlietstra, director of government affairs for the National Association for the Self-Employed, in a news release. “Supporting these small business owners means much more than just shopping on Main Street, but it also means supporting economic policies that will help them open, grow and expand.”

Small Business Saturday, when consumers are encouraged to support their local small businesses two days after Thanksgiving, gets bigger every year, said Karen Mills, administrator of the Small Business Administration.

"We see tremendous momentum out there," said Mills.

Small businesses can't usually compete with big-box stores' big sales on Black Friday , so many hope to use Small Business Saturday to get a piece of the action during the biggest shopping weekend of the year.

Small Business Saturday is the most important shopping day of the season for 36 percent of independent retailers, according to NFIB. Only 24 percent report that Black Friday is most important.

USA Today reporter Oliver St. John contributed.

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