Initiative targets small biz support
by By LUCIE R. WILLSIE Associate Editor
Nov 22, 2012 | 1638 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CODY KECK, manager at Coy’s Jewelers on Keith Street, has just received a new shipment of merchandise of Chamilia charm jewelry just in time for Small Business Saturday this weekend. He hopes the special local Saturday shopping event, between the traditional Black Friday and Cyber Monday, will be supported by local shoppers. Banner photo, LUCIE R. WILLSIE
CODY KECK, manager at Coy’s Jewelers on Keith Street, has just received a new shipment of merchandise of Chamilia charm jewelry just in time for Small Business Saturday this weekend. He hopes the special local Saturday shopping event, between the traditional Black Friday and Cyber Monday, will be supported by local shoppers. Banner photo, LUCIE R. WILLSIE
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PAT FULLER, owner and manager of the Orange Blossom, a women’s clothing boutique store on Keith Street, has just received a new shipment of merchandise of an exclusive line of accessories, My Flat in London, just in time for Small Business Saturday. Banner photo, LUCIE R. WILLSIE
PAT FULLER, owner and manager of the Orange Blossom, a women’s clothing boutique store on Keith Street, has just received a new shipment of merchandise of an exclusive line of accessories, My Flat in London, just in time for Small Business Saturday. Banner photo, LUCIE R. WILLSIE
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Small Business Saturday was started nationally for the first time two years ago by American Express in November 2010.

It is a day dedicated to help support small businesses.

Participation in the event grew larger last year compared to the first.

According to a consumer survey by Echo Research on the 2011 event, more than 100 million shoppers showed their support for small businesses across this country. And, organizers anticipate the numbers will grow even larger this year.

According to information from the Tennessee Small Business Development Center at Cleveland State Community College, small businesses employ more than half of the country’s workforce. In addition, small businesses, the TSBDC adds, have been the stabilizing force in the U.S. economy and a most critical component of it. Small companies in the U.S. hold more than 10 times as many patents as large companies. Small businesses have a 50 percent success rate after being in business for four years, and home-based businesses account for more than half of all small businesses.

These are just some of the reasons the TDBDC strongly supports the event Saturday.

According to the TSBDC, “Small business produces the majority of new jobs in the United States,” said David Hudson, director of the TSBDC. “Small businesses also supports communities, schools, the building of roads, and the improvement of water and sewer systems.”

Fourteen different Small Business Centers serve such businesses across Tennessee, helping create almost 1,000 new jobs across the state this year alone. To date, the Cleveland service center has been instrumental in serving 322 clients, helping create 154 jobs, and assisting clients with capital formation in the amount of $12,742,422. The mission of the TSBDC is to be a premier provider of quality solutions for small businesses.

“We want everyone to support their small business because it’s important to the development of the economy,” Hudson said.

The Cleveland-Bradley Chamber of Commerce supports the Small Business Saturday event as well. In fact, its BUYIT BRADLEY program helps encourage buying locally all year long, said Gary Farlow, president and CEO of the local Chamber.

“We’ve been supporting the idea for a while,” Farlow said. “It’s what BUYIT BRADLEY is all about.”

BUYIT BRADLEY is a gift card that can be purchased at both the Chamber and various businesses across town that can be used at any of the companies that are part of the program. These cards can be purchased in any denomination as well.

“Think of Bradley County first,” Farlow said. “It keeps sales tax dollars at home and supports local governments ... I hope they buy here. It provides jobs here and supports the economy.”

Several area businesses are planning to hold events on both Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.

Pat Fuller, owner and manager of the Orange Blossom, a women’s boutique clothing and accessories store on Keith Street, will have a special after-Thanksgiving Christmas Open House on Friday, as well as additional Small Business Saturday sales and events Saturday.

“I’m proud to be a local business,” she said. “I’m especially proud to be one in this community.”

Last year, the first year for this national Small Business Saturday event, Fuller remembers many customers coming in to shop, and mentioning the program.

“These customers made a conscious effort to support a small business,” she said. “People are recognizing more and more the importance of small, locally owned businesses.”

Special discount for customers are planned, as well as refreshments.

Many local businesses are doing something similar.

“I remember hearing about Small Business Saturday last year,” said Cody Keck, manager at Coy’s Jewelers in the Stuart Park Plaza, “but I don’t remember any difference in the number of customers.” He wishes people would be camped out and waiting at the door Friday and Saturday mornings like he’s heard customers do at other area stores. “I wish that would be the case.”

For any customers who do shop at Coy’s Jewelers, everything will be on sale, including a new charm bracelet line, Chamilia.

“And, as long as we have customers, we’ll stay open (this weekend),” Keck said.

For more information on participating businesses, go to http://clevelandchamber.com/ or www.BuyItBradley.com or call the Chamber at 472-6587.

To learn how to receive free business consultation services and training, contact the Cleveland TSBDC service center at 478-6247 or by emailing dhudson@tsbdc.org.

For more information on the national Small Business Saturday event, visit www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/Shop-Small/.