REXBURG — Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, there is now Small Business Saturday.
That day is Saturday, Nov. 25, when it’s hoped that residents will shop locally.
“We’re just trying, after the hustle and bustle of Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales, that on Saturday, residents will turn their thoughts toward our local economy,” said Rexburg Area Chamber of Commerce President Christopher Mann. “We are encouraging Rexburg area residents to shop at the small businesses on Saturday and to visit your downtown merchants and to visit your locally owned restaurants that day.”
American Express came up with the idea of Small Business Saturday in 2010 and since then has noted its success. The company’s executive vice president, Elizabeth Rutledge, told Business Wire that Small Business Saturday proves a huge boon to communities.
“Small Business Saturday provides people an opportunity to discover and celebrate the variety of small businesses that make their communities thrive,” she said. “Beyond visiting their favorite go-to spots, shoppers say Small Business Saturday inspires them to visit places they have not been to before and would not have otherwise tried.”
The 2017 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey recently released results via the National Federation of Independent Businesses and American Express showing that 6 out of 10 Americans know about Small Business Saturday. Of those surveyed, 82 percent expected to shop at a small businesses or to eat at a locally owned restaurant that day.
Mann says that Rexburg merchants have a lot to offer and that there is very little that residents can’t buy in the city.
“There are many wonderful businesses in Rexburg. It may not be the biggest store, but you may not have to fight the crowds. I’ve always been impressed with the quality of customer service and the pricing of products that we find in Rexburg,” Mann said.
He pointed out such stores as Olive Ave., Bingham’s Appliances, Porter’s and Broulim’s.
“These people put their blood, sweat and tears into their businesses,” he said. “The Chamber of Commerce is proud to do all that we can to promote local business.”
Porter’s general manager Alex Nielsen said that Small Business Saturday is one of their best days.
“We do coupons that are good for just that day,” he said. “We sort of tie it into the whole Black Friday weekend.”
Nielsen asked customers to get more information on those coupons while shopping or to check the company’s website at portersonline.com for more information.
Porters has participated in Small Business Saturday every year since American Express started the event.
“It’s a very big day,” he said. “It’s almost as big as Black Friday. All our Black Friday deals — which are significant — will be going on that day.”
Nielsen noted that during Thanksgiving weekend the store sees many first-time shoppers.
“We see a lot of new faces,” he said. “For example, the people who come in generally didn’t realize we carry toys.”
At Circle of Love, located at 64 E. Main St., owners Jon and Heather Weber will give the first 50 customers to visit that day a free grab bag filled with gifts. They also plan to offer substantial discounts on various items.
From 10 a.m. to noon the couple plans to sell men’s suits for $130. They’re also offering customers a buy-one-get-one-free deal on ties. They’ll also offer ladies’ day wear, including blouses and skirts, for $10.
“We did small business Saturday last year and had a great day,” Jon Weber said. “We anticipate that we’ll have a fabulous day on Saturday.”
Weber said such events are positive for both business and residents.
“You know, when we participate together in sales such as Small Business Saturday, it’s a win for the businesses and a win for the community,” he said. “It showcases what all businesses have to offer. It’s keeping dollars local. We just look forward to a fun day, a busy day.”
Small business are the lifeblood of the community, Mann said.
“They are the economic drivers of this community. Locally owned businesses are a major influence in this town and a benefit to our town,” he said.
Also that day, the city plans to host its annual Rexburg Festival of Lights Kickoff on Center Street. A ribbon cutting will be held at 4:45 p.m. behind the Romance Theater on Center Street. That will be followed by festivities and music from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. At 6 p.m. Santa plans to arrive via fire truck, where he will light the Christmas tree and visit with area youth.
“Enjoy music from local choirs and stick around to see the magical Christmas light show programmed to your favorite holiday songs,” the city said in a press release.
The city plans to feature the festival light shows every 30 minutes from 6 p.m. to midnight every day from Saturday, Nov. 25, through Tuesday, Jan. 2. Rexburg officials also plan specially themed light shows to be held every weekend.
For more information on the festival visit rexburg.org/light-festival. For more information about the upcoming Shop Small Business Saturday visit www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/shop-small/rally or call the Rexburg Area Chamber of Commerce at 208-356-5700.