Metro-East News

Groups encourage people to shop local on Small Business Saturday

Didn’t find enough good deals on Black Friday? Local business organizations are encouraging shoppers to participate in Small Business Saturday.

Groups such as Belleville Main Street and the O’Fallon-Shiloh Chamber of Commerce are promoting Small Business Saturday. The movement is meant to encourage people to shop at small, local businesses.

“Basically we’re trying to promote having people come and shop local on Saturday and support local businesses,” said Alicia Slocomb, the Belleville Main Street manager.

Belleville Main Street is a committee of the Greater Belleville Chamber of Commerce.

American Express also has pushed a campaign called “Shop Small” to encourage people to partake in Small Business Saturday.

The National Federation of Independent Business and American Express have promoted Small Business Saturday together since 2010.

A survey by the two entities found 95 million Americans said they shopped at small businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving in 2015 and spent more than $16 billion, which was a 14 percent increase from 2014.

Slocomb said when people spend money at a local business, more than 60 percent stays in the community.

Some stores in downtown Belleville also will have special deals to entice people to shop local, such as Peace by Piece selling bracelets to support local charities, Slocomb said.

She added that locally-owned businesses can provide a more personal touch.

“It’s basically just get out there, think beyond the big box, support the people who live in the community and created things,” Slocomb said.

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