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'Shop Local' Holiday Season Push Gets a Boost on Small Business Saturday

Nov. 26 promotion features $25 incentive from American Express to 'shop small.'

This seasonal greeting comes from hometown merchants: Don't be in thrall to the mall.

They're spreading the word via social media and window signs with help from American Express, organizer of the second annual Small Business Saturday on Nov. 26. The credit card issuer promotes a nationwide "day dedicated to supporting small businesses on one of the busiest shopping weekends," it explains online. "We’re asking millions of Americans to 'shop small' at their favorite local stores and help fuel the economy. When we all shop small, it will be huge."

The firm puts money where its promotion is by offering a one-time $25 rebate to shoppers spending at least $25 at a small business after registering their credit card here. Any non-franchised, locally owned shop qualifies if it accepts American Express.  

That covers lots of boutiques, bakers and basket-makers throughout the area.

"Join us the Saturday after Thanksgiving," Birmingham retailer Karen Daskas, co-owner of , urges on its Facebook page. Daskas, a fashion retailer who also publicized the event last year, is a board member of the local – which spreads the drumbeat about Small Business Saturday via Twitter (@EnjoyBhamNOW) and Facebook.

Other Southeast Oakland business boosters join the push. "Stay local," suggests Ferndale's Downtown Development Authority in a "holidates" roundup that includes Nov. 26. "Avoid the malls and support your favorite merchants on this day, dedicated nationwide to promoting the good businesses that keep local economies prospering.

A nearby community's similar agency plans promotional offers that day. "The Saturday after Thanksgiving is the time to pledge to Shop Small in Downtown Clawson," says the latest newsletter from its Downtown Development Authority. "Downtown businesses provide jobs, preserve neighborhoods and fuel the local economy. Show your support and shop local."

Some stores sweeten the deal with their own incentives. Stella Boutique on West Fourth Street in Royal Oak has a "buy two, get one free" jewelry sale Nov. 26.

“It’s always important to support your local community," another Royal Oak merchant, Kate Burton of Bingo Pet Salon, told the Detroit Free Press recently. "It think it’s great a company like American Express is doing something to help small business. . . . It’s a wonderful idea."

Businesses in support of the movement in Birmingham include:

Restaurants

Salons, spas

Automotive, hardware

Toys, children stores

Photography, art galleries

Home decor

 Clothing, accessories retailers

Boards

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