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Small stores look to cash in on ‘Small Business Saturday’

As millions of people hit the major retailers for Black Friday, now smaller businesses are looking to bring in the big bucks too on Small Business Saturday.

“We’re in tremendous competition, not only with the bog box stores, but we’re also in competition with the internet,” said Gary Deeb, owner of Sun Optic along El Paseo in Palm Desert.

Deeb opened his store in 1988, and through the years he’s seen how shopping habits have changed, especially during the holidays. That’s one of the reasons he signed his business up for Small Business Saturday, held the day after Black Friday.

“I think American Express was aware right from the beginning that if it wasn’t for small businesses, which date back almost a couple centuries now, that there really wouldn’t be any businesses at all,” Deeb said.

In 2010, American Express began the Small Business Saturday movement, setting the day aside to promote neighborhood shops such as Deeb’s.

“The thing that is very interesting, is that 97% of all businesses in the United States are small businesses, and in that percentage, over 65% are considered mom and pop stores,” Deeb said.

At ‘It’s In the Bag’ along Highway 111 in Palm Desert, owner Chuck Weisbart says since being a part of the program, it’s made a difference for his business.

“It really empowers us and it gets customers to walk in the door, because the customers end up getting a credit whenever they use american express in any participating small business.”

This year, American Express card members who register for Small Business Saturday gets up to $30 back. To learn more how, just click on the link http://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/shop-small/

But more than anything, store owners say it reminds shoppers that shopping local means your money stays local too.

“It’s of maximum importance. We spend all of our advertising money in this desert, we keep all of our resources in the desert that we can have,” Weisbart said.

“Small businesses spend all their money in the community,” Deeb said.

KESQ News Team

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