Shop Small Business Saturday on November 24, 2012. Small businesses contribute towards the health and well-being of their communities. American Express launched Small Business Saturday in 2010 to help spur holiday business for small businesses that were trying to survive the recession. This annual event has grown to local communities all over the country, just like Grand Rapids, Minnesota. In 2011 100 million people across the country participated. There have been additional programs created to help promote shopping at your local small businesses; like 3/50 Project that promotes spending $50 at three small businesses each month to burst the economy. Of every $100 spent at small businesses $68 stays in that community. Small business owners are great supporters contributing both financially and in-kind commitment which leads to healthy communities. American Express purchased advertisement through radio and television as well as facebook in its early years. As this event has grown, social media has been a low cost and effective way to marketing to consumers. The Grand Rapids Downtown Business Association has a Facebook site to promote their annual event.
On Saturday, November 24, 2012, the downtown Grand Rapids small businesses have put together a promotional campaign to draw consumers to shop in their stores. This year’s event will feature prizes, give-aways, and discounts in every shop. Customers can pick up a prize passport at all participating businesses. For each transaction at a participating business passports will be stamped. Consumers are required to collect 8 or more stamps are eligible. The completed passports must be dropped off at Old Central School by 3:00pm to be entered in a Grand Prize Drawing. One winner will receive a $25 or $50 gift certificate from every store.
Shops participating in the Grand Rapids Small Business Saturday event are: ABC’s of Quilting, Brier’s, Benders, Hoppertons, MacRostie Art Center, The Yarn Gallery, Stained Glass with Class, Grand Rapids State Bank, Computer Enterprises, Frame Up, Lillian’s, Brewed Awakenings, Checkered Past Antiques, Old School Pastries & Gift Shoppe, Mississippi Diamond Jewelers, Purple Pinecone, Regis, Grand Dollar Plus, Nurse Supply, Village Bookstore, Vanity, JB Kaiser Jewelers, Gliks, Christopher & Banks, Jessica’s Bridal, and Reed Drug.
Visit Grand Rapids is a resource for visitors coming into Grand Rapids for shopping. The Visit Grand Rapids website has lodging, shopping and dining resources, as well as, Hot Deals for promotions that area businesses are offering. Visit Grand Rapids publishes a visitor guide each year that includes a city and county wide map, and local store coupons. Visitors can download a pdf file of the visitor guide from the Visit Grand Rapids website or a copy can be mailed by calling 1-800-355-9740. Copies of the visitor guide are located throughout Grand Rapids and Itasca County area businesses.