Donuts and coffee were on the menu for those taking advantage of Small Business Saturday this weekend. At the Keweenaw Chamber office near Franklin Square in Houghton, staff greeted people about to embark on a shopping spree. Katie Schlief says the holiday season is off to an enthusiastic start. The weather even cooperated.
For many retailers, this stretch is pivotal for their success. The term Black Friday, which happened the day before, was coined in Philadelphia to reflect the fact that the busy shopping day was often the tipping point from operating at a loss to becoming profitable, going from drowning in red ink to being in the black.
Chamber members participated by including great deals in a coupon book handed out at the office. There was a raffle for Chamber bucks, essentially a gift certificate eligible for use at member businesses. Masks and individual tote bags were other items being given away.
Small Business Saturday began in 2010 to help Main Street recover from economic recession caused by the subprime housing market induced financial crisis. It was originally sponsored by credit card company American Express, who continues to support the event.