Small businesses gear up for the holidays

By Maddison Smith
Delta Digital News Service 

JONESBORO – Small Business Saturday is a big deal for some, for others – not so much. 

   Small Business Saturday was first observed in the U.S. on November 27, 2010 and was trademarked by American Express. 

   Refinery Store Manager Amy Willhite said their company will be participating in Small Business Saturday, along with Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 

   “We want people to shop local and to keep business here in town,” Willhite said, “We want them to come into the store.” 

   On the contrary, Smoothie King Owner Linda Bradley said she did not know about Small Business Saturday and if she did, she would have participated. 

   Bradley does support shopping local. “Your helping those local businesses to stay in business,” Bradley said, “It gives a more ‘hometown’ feel. Instead of spending your money on cooperate businesses, you should shop local to help our community.” 

   Shop local supporter Jessica Blevins said she shops local because it supports the community and those who live there.

   Blevins said, “It’s about being able to communicate about small businesses and being able to put a spotlight on a few of those locations on Small Business Saturday.” 

   “Black Friday absolutely helps us, and Small Business Saturday is just an extension of that,” Willhite said, “People are still wanting to shop local, but they are also wanting a deal.” 

   Bradley said, “We can’t offer that much of a deal on Black Friday, but if there was a small shop festival, where we could get our products into consumer’s hands, that would benefit us more.” 

Willhite said that consumers should shop local because they have good customer service, people that wait on you and want to talk to you.

   Willhite said, “You’re going to get a one-on-one experience and you’re going to talk to someone who has knowledge about the products in store.” 

   American Express also holds what is called “Neighborhood Champions,” which are towns or cities who have pledged to put small businesses first. 

   Conway, Paragould, Little Rock and West Memphis, to name a few, are part of Neighborhood Champions. Jonesboro is not included in this list. 

Editor’s Note: Feature Photo taken by Maddison Smith