The Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving are usually very busy for businesses in Red Wing. On Friday, community members and tourists walk around downtown and its stores during the Holiday Stroll. Then, on Saturday, many return to participate in Small Business Saturday.
Small Business Saturday was started by American Express in 2010. "In an effort to support local shops that make our communities strong, American express launched Small Business Saturday on the Saturday after Thanksgiving to encourage people to Shop Small and bring more holiday shopping to small businesses," explained American Express's website.
In 2011, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution in support of the day to focus on and shop at small businesses. According to American Express, the nation has spent an estimated $85 billion at independent stores and restaurants during the eight Small Business Saturdays.
This year, many business throughout Red Wing will be open for business on Saturday. Rick DeVoe of Fair Trade Books said that the store usually sees some increase in sales on Small Business Saturday. Saturdays, no matter what time of year, always brings the most foot traffic to the store, DeVoe said.
At Cut Above Home, employee Holly Lentz said that Small Business Saturday brings in some patrons, but it is nothing compared to the Holiday Stroll. The night of the stroll is one of the busiest nights for the store.
The Red Wing Area Chamber of Commerce is partnering with Treasure Island Resort & Casino this year for Small Business Saturday. Casino-goers can play a game at of the Island Passport Club kiosks on the casino floor. If they win, they can choose to receive Red Wing Chamber Bucks. According to the Chamber of Commerce, there are over 403 businesses in and around Red Wing where those "bucks" can be spent.
Red Wing's Port Authority is also a supporter of Small Business Saturday. On its website, the Port Authority lists numerous reasons to shop locally.
"Research has shown that independent businesses return triple the amount of money to local economies as their chain store competitors," reports the Port Authority.
For more information about Small Business Saturday and independent businesses in Red Wing, visit: www.redwingportauthority.org.