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Small Business Saturday: Event encourages people to shop local

After the turkey has been stuffed and eaten, and Black Friday has been to bed, it will be time to turn our attention closer to home.

Saturday has been designated as the day to focus on small, local businesses. Small Business Saturday, as they day has been dubbed, allows people to take advantage of customer-service oriented and less-crowded shopping opportunities while giving a boost to local establishments.

Jill Rowland-Lagan, CEO of the Boulder City Chamber of Commerce, said the day is especially important for Boulder City businesses. Not only does it raise awareness of the different businesses in town, shopping locally truly impacts the entire community.

"It's the same thing with the King Kids," she said, comparing the experience of shopping in town to the "Circle of Life" from "The Lion King."

Shopping locally allows businesses to hire employees, who then live here, buy groceries and pay taxes that fund public projects including hiring police officers and fixing roads, she said.

"Every Saturday, and every day for that matter, is very important to small business, but Small Business Saturday is a special day because it lets the light really shine on all that is unique with our own communities," said Jessie Walker, manager of Grandma Daisy's at 530 Nevada Way. "We enjoy serving our local clientele year-round with outstanding customer service and fresh, homemade products, and really getting to know our customers."

Many businesses plan special sales and promotions for the day, such as the free half-pound of fudge with each pound purchased at Grandma Daisy's.

Back in Thyme, at 524 Nevada Way, also is planning to mark the day, and invites residents to join the festivities as Navajo silversmith Kevin Yazzie will demonstrate how he hand-carves stone molds.

Bella Marketplace, at 1212 Wyoming St., will mark its grand opening that day. The store features antiques, arts and crafts, gifts and jewelry.

Rowland-Lagan said she is always amazed when she speaks with people who never have visited many of the town's small businesses, who tell her how surprised they are at the things they discover when they finally visit someplace new.

Small Business Saturday was launched in 2010 by American Express as a way for people across the nation to support small, local businesses. The following year, government officials ranging from President Barack Obama to governors and mayors expressed their support for the day.

According to American Express, in 2012 73.9 million people shopped at a small business, helping the promotion gain further support from both participants and shoppers. Each year it has continued to grow, with Americans spending $14.3 billion at small independent businesses last year, American Express reported.

"Small Business Saturday is a really special day when we not only get to visit with so many of our regulars, but we also get to meet their friends and family members visiting over the Thanksgiving holiday. It's a beautiful day for business and customers alike to escape the crowds and share some holiday cheer," Walker said.

— Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at hsaylor@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9523. Follow her: @HalisComment

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