Entrepreneurial

Small business gets in on turkey madness

November 26, 2010

Small businesses are largely shutout from the consumer-generated madness surrounding the Black Friday and Cyber Monday events.

So this year the folks at American Express decided to create an alternate celebration for Main Street USA: Small Business Saturday.

Sandwiched in between those hyperbolic retail extravaganzas, the small business fete (this year held on November 27) is a chance to patronize local independently-owned businesses. For its part,  Amex is rewarding the first 10,000 small businesses that sign up on the event’s Facebook page $100 worth of free advertising on the social networking site. In addition the first 100,000 Amex card holders who sign up and make a credit card purchase at a local small business will receive a $25 credit applied to their statement.

The site’s Facebook page has more than a million fans.

“It’s a nice way for small businesses to be recognized,” said Deborah Sweeney, CEO of Web company MyCorporation that helps entrepreneurs incorporate their businesses. She added that normally small shop owners tend to be closed on Thanksgiving weekend, but many of her clients have said they will open their doors this year.

“We think it’s a good opportunity for small businesses to begin to take advantage of the albeit slowly growing economy,” said Sweeney. “I actually think it’s energizing the small business market.”

Sweeney, who said her company has helped incorporate more than 150,000 businesses since it launched in 1998, has noticed a significant uptick in the number of companies being created over the last six months.

“The economic growth rate is just under 3 percent and I’d say we’re more at 10-percent growth,”  said Sweeney, noting sales had been “quiet” since she bought MyCorporation from Intuit last year.

Sweeney is hoping that in a few years time Small Business Saturday might hold the same cache as the other Thanksgiving sales events.

“I know that there was that push for Cyber Monday when the Internet became big and look it’s become huge,” she said about the day that now marks the unofficial start of the online holiday sales season. This year comScore predicts online holiday sales to increase 11 percent over 2009 levels. “So I feel like this is a nice opportunity to focus on a different area of the economy.”

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