Two important events are being sponsored by the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce this Saturday: The annual Tree Lighting Ceremony kicks off the holiday season, and it’s the Small Business Saturday, a day for dedicating a portion of holiday shopping to local, independently-owned small businesses.
American Express, the founding sponsor of Small Business Saturday, created the national program in 2010 in response to small business owners’ most pressing need: more demand for their products and services. The second event will build on last year’s inaugural program that drove millions of dollars to
main street merchants.
The Edmonds Chamber of Commerce recognizes the importance of small businesses in Edmonds, the jobs they create and the culture they instill in local communities. Small businesses have generated 64 percent of net new jobs over the past 15 years and employ just over half of all private sector employees,
according to the Small Business Administration.
The Chamber said it would like to see local businesses get involved in the Small Business Saturday movement by visiting facebook.com/SmallBusinessSaturday to sign up to participate and take advantage of all the promotional possibilities. Chamber 1st Vice President Bob Rinehart is encouraging the local community to “hold onto some of the money you’re setting aside for Black Friday and come shop Edmonds on Small Business Saturday… give our local economy a boost by putting your money where your house is!”
“We are proud to have the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce join the Small Business Saturday Coalition,” said Maryann Fitzmaurice, senior vice-president, American Express OPEN. “It is critical that we get as many supporters on board as possible to generate demand for small, independently owned businesses
this holiday season and beyond.”
Edmonds will kick-off its local festivities Small Business Saturday festivities at 11 a.m. at Centennial Plaza, where Clear Channel will be on site with a live broadcast, interviewing shoppers and small business owners. At noon there will be a brief ceremony with a Mayoral Proclamation, followed by the first of two
drawings to be held for an AMEX gift card. The second drawing will be held later that same day during the annual “Tree Lighting” event, which starts at 4:30 p.m. at the same location. Centennial Plaza is at 5th & Bell in downtown Edmonds across from the Chamber Offices.
Social media will play a central role in helping raise awareness about the importance of supporting small business and recognizing Small Business Saturday. The Small Business Saturday Coalition will be driving consumers and business owners to facebook.com/smallbusinesssaturday where they can
participate in many ways, including:
• American Express is giving $100 of free Facebook advertising1 to 10,000 business owners who sign up at facebook.com/smallbusinesssaturday to help build online buzz and drive customers to their stores on Small Business Saturday. By simply entering a few pieces of information andclicking a button, these business owners can create a personalized, geo-targeted ad that will run on Facebook leading up to November 26.
• American Express is giving a $25 statement credit2 to 200,000 Cardmembers who register their Card and use it to shop on Small Business Saturday at any locally-owned, independent small business that accepts American Express.
• Small business owners can go to Facebook.com/smallbusinesssaturday to download online promotional materials that will help them drive sales to their business on Small Business Saturday.
• Everyone can spread the word about the day and their favorite businesses by giving a shout-out to their favorite local shops and restaurants via Facebook and Twitter.