Yes, it’s not quite Halloween yet, but businesses are already gearing up for Christmas. Over the past couple of years a buy local effort has been growing. While many people have heard of “Black Friday” as the big shopping day after Thanksgiving, Small Business Saturday is gaining traction. T
he national effort is sponsored by the American Express credit card company. The Kalispell Chamber of Commerce is organizing a local effort to get businesses involved with the event. Coordinator Courtenay Sprunger said she’s got about 25 businesses signed up so far. She said about half of them had heard of Small Business Saturday before.
Beckman’s Fine Furnishings of Kalispell is one of them. Owner Stefanie Hanson said they participated on their own last year.
“On a three month average Small Business Saturday probably increased our sales for Saturdays by about ten times,” Hanson said.
Michelle Grigsby manages Plant Land in Evergreen. Grigsby said this is the first year they’ve signed up.
“Trying to get more people to buy local instead of buying through a box store or online, and most people don’t think that we’re open year-round, and that’s another thing, that we are,” Grigsby said.
American Express started Small Business Saturday in 20-10. It lands on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, this year that’s the 30th of November. The American Express website lists conditions for participating. It does not cost a business to register, but they have to sign up in order to be a participating vendor. Cardholders register their credit card with American Express, and then get $10-dollars back on their statement for spending $10-dollars or more at a small business on November 30th.
Sprunger saidto qualify a business has to make less than $10-million per year, and operate in fewer than 25 locations. She also said liquor stores, firearms manufacturers and sellers, and franchises are not eligible.