Small Business Saturday: NJ retailers offering perks so you shop local
Between the long lines and doorbuster deals of Black Friday and the online sales rush of Cyber Monday, there's a special period devoted to the little guy. A number of New Jersey retailers are counting on Small Business Saturday this weekend to provide a boost in revenue.
In downtown Summit, several merchants have special promotions and sales ready to go for Saturday only. As a thanks to customers who choose to shop local that day, the group Summit Downtown Inc. is running a giveaway event with prizes ranging from a tote bag to downtown gift certificates.
"We have done some sort of event for every Small Business Saturday for the last couple years to reward shoppers," said Kathryn Best, assistant director of Summit Downtown.
The area is comprised of "200-plus regular retailers." There are a few chain locations, but the mainstay is mom-and-pop shops.
As owner of Toy Genius, with four locations in New Jersey, Maria Singman said she's noticed "a tradition" of the same families coming into her shops, year after year, on Small Business Saturday. According to Singman, the customer service of businesses like hers can't be matched by big box stores.
"Whether it's myself, my husband or any of my staff members, we're in the store on the floor looking to help you," Singman said.
Black Friday is still the biggest day for sales, she said, but Small Business Saturday is "turning into a close second." Toy Genius is offering the same deals both days.
Several independent shops throughout New Jersey are offering double-rewards points to customers who make a purchase with their American Express card on Saturday. The corporation trademarked the Small Business Saturday name in 2010.
One of those participating businesses is The Farmhouse Store at Palmer Square in Princeton. The home furnishing shop will have extra staff on hand Saturday, along with the rest of the holiday season.
"In a town like Princeton, we find that people do support local businesses, family-owned businesses," said owner Ron Menapace. "And we do see an increase in foot traffic on the Saturday after Thanksgiving."
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