It's year three of American Express' "Small Business Saturday." An initiative to get card holders to spend their money with local retailers on the biggest shopping weekend of the year. Scott Malouf, owner of the clothing store Drest by Scott Malouf thinks "It's a great idea. I think there's so much more we could do as local merchants to ban together."
On Black Friday, it's easy for local businesses to get overshadowed by the big box stores. Melody Huffman, who owns the Bible Barn explains "we don't have the financial resources to run the ads. We don't have the chains that back us. And holiday ads are a whole lot more expensive than your regular ads."
It can be hard to compete with large chains on a day like Black Friday. But local business are finding way to attract customers too. Malouf says our business is predicated on relationship selling and so we just bring value day in and day out to those relationships and we kind of celebrate a lot of the special things that are in the market place." and Huffman agrees local businesses not only have deals to offer, year round service. "The Mom and Pop shops want to serve the people and serve the community."
This service to the community helps the local economy. Malouf says when people spend at the chain stores, their money isn't going where they think it is, "traditionally this is not a huge day for the United States, but a huge day for China." While Huffman says "Mom and Pops, the money stays in your community. I've heard it changes hands six times in your own community when you shop locally."
Small businesses still benefit from Black Friday because there are more people out shopping. Dan Connally, owner of Katz Meow Antiques says "anything that increases traffic is better for business."
Local business owners we spoke to call the push a good step towards encouraging people to buy small. They agree Lubbock supports it's small businesses, but increased exposure is always needed.