By Larry Austin
Island Dispatch Editor
This Nov. 25, Grand Island businesses will mark a holiday shopping tradition that celebrates small businesses.
Small Business Saturday, the day after Black Friday, will encourage the public to Shop Small at neighborhood businesses, from corner stores to food trucks to online boutiques. They can have a handful of employees or be up to 150 employees strong. They give a neighborhood strength and create vibrant, diverse communities.
It's an annual shopping tradition dedicated to supporting small businesses and celebrating communities across the country. Founded by American Express in 2010, Small Business Saturday is celebrated every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
According to American Express, on Small Business Saturday in 2016, 112 million shoppers spent a reported $15.4 billion at small businesses.
Small Business Saturday has gained momentum on the Island since its launch. According to a consumer survey commissioned by American Express and the National Federal of Independent Business, the event is seeing more shopping, more spending, and more support from communities across the U.S., leading to even more participation.
Andi LaMar, owner of Silk Florals (2419 Grand Island Blvd.), which offers custom silk floral arrangements, said that Islanders need look no further than their neighborhoods for holiday gifts.
"You don't actually have to leave the Island, you don't have to go over the bridges and be inconvenienced with the holiday traffic," LaMar said. You can go from one shop to another right in the plaza, she noted.
"We would suggest where you could get an item if you needed it," she said. "So if someone is looking for a little bracelet or a trinket, I'd send you down to Pink Martini," she said. "A bottle of wine, we have here. And you want your hair cut or your nails done? It's all in the plaza."
"It's kind of a one-stop shop, I guess. A one-stop plaza."
Shop Small is about more than just shopping at small businesses, American Express said. It's a cause that helps to support local economies and promote vibrant, diverse communities. It's also a nationwide movement fueled by shoppers, business owners, and organizers who come together and celebrate the community because they know it matters.
Small businesses play a key role in helping communities thrive. By shopping or dining at favorite local places throughout the year, customers are showing support for small businesses and making a positive impact in their community.