“Small Business Saturday” was launched to help mom-and-pop businesses thrive during the holiday season, and one neighborhood is looking to take things to the next level with the yearly event.
Stores in Lincoln Square are pulling out all the stops this holiday season to get shoppers off the couch and into retailers by making it an immersive, exhilarating experience, complete with Christmas carollers, bands, and a tree lighting ceremony.
Scott Friedland, the owner of Timeless Toys, says he expects sales to quadruple over a normal Saturday because of the event, and says that “Small Business Saturday” has helped grow his business.
“We’re here to find what the best toy is for the child you’re shopping for, and not just what the most popular toy is,” he said.
A new economic study commissioned by American Express, the corporation that pioneered the concept of a special holiday for small businesses, says that 67 cents of every dollar spent at a small business stays in the local community, and 85 businesses are participating in the neighborhood, the Lincoln Square/Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce says.
“When you go into stores, you’re not just helping them thrive as business owners, but the money is going right back into the community,” Chamber of Commerce representative Rudy Flores said. “You’re actually seeing your community thrive and become stronger.”
American Express launched Small Business Saturday in 2010 in the aftermath of the Great Recession, and thousands of businesses across America participate in the annual event.