Many online deals that used to start the Monday following Thanksgiving have already been launched.

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Not everyone was just eating turkey and watching football on Thanksgiving Day. Online purchases this past Thursday rose more than 17 percent compared to Thanksgiving 2011.  That's the word from IBM Benchmark.  Yesterday, Black Friday, online sales were up a whopping 24 percent from last year.

Many large retailers, including Wal-Mart, have replaced Cyber Monday with Cyber Week that runs from today through next Sunday, December 2nd.

Jay Henderson, a spokesman for IBM, says "Black Friday deals are no longer just for the (brick-and-mortar) store, and Cyber Monday deals are no longer just for Monday."

When all is said and done, it's fairly certain the online shopping for this holiday season will smash previous records.

The U.S. Postal Service expects this coming Monday to be the biggest online shopping day-ever.  The U.S.P.S. says 130 million Americans will make online purchases this Monday.

Here's the most important thought.

Please keep in mind that today is "Small Business Saturday."  It's especially important for New Jersey.

Many Garden State retailers along the shore and over the entire state suffered huge losses from Hurricane Sandy.  Not far from where I live, downtown Westfield was without power for a week.

If you can, buy locally.  You'll be supporting our local economy and local jobs.