The New Black Friday: Small Biz Saturday

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Thanksgiving weekend is notorious for being a time of consumer chaos, when shoppers flock to big box stores and malls around the country. Now a dozen public and private organizations are partnering up to get consumers to focus on small businesses.

Companies ranging from Facebook to American Express (Stock Quote: APX) are hoping to encourage consumers to flock to their local businesses by designating the Saturday after Thanksgiving as Small Business Saturday.  So in between your Black Friday and Cyber Monday bargain hunting, why not check out a small business near you?

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the glue that holds communities together, and we’ve always sought new ways to support them – something that became even more important when the national economic downturn began,” said New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a supporter of the movement, in a press release. “This year, if you have the opportunity to shop on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, make it a point to visit local small businesses. It really can make an enormous difference for merchants trying to succeed.”

The supporters of this movement point out that small businesses are responsible for creating nearly two thirds of the jobs in this country, which means we prosper when they prosper.

If that’s not enough, American Express has already announced it will give a $25 credit to the first 100,000 cardholders who shop at a locally owned business that Saturday. American Express will also give $100 of free advertising on Facebook to the first 10,000 small businesses who sign up on facebook.com/smallbusinesssaturday to promote the event.

Now, the only question left is what people will come up with to promote on that Sunday, since all the other days are taken?

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