Independent Businesses Gear Up For Small Business Saturday

By Susan Salisbury
The Palm Beach Post, Fla.

With a credit of up to $30 available to American Express card members, Small Business Saturday has the potential to be better than ever for shoppers.

Throw in the discounts, refreshments and other perks some independent businesses are offering, and consumers have plenty of incentives to support for small, locally-owned businesses by shopping this Saturday.

It’s the fifth year the special day between Black Friday and Cyber Monday has been held, and it’s grown every year.

More than three-quarters of shoppers surveyed say they will be spending more or the same amount on Small Business Saturday as they did last year, said the National Federation of Independent Businesses and American Express.

Riad Batruny and his wife Victoria Batruny, owners of Selby Shoes in suburban West Palm Beach, have participated in the day the last few years, and say it has boosted their business.

The store in the same location off Forest Hill Boulevard for 30 years sells men’s and women’s shoes in slim to extra-wide widths and is known for such quality brands as SAS, Ecco, Munro, New Balance and Jack Rogers.

“You get people to know your store. It brings in new customers. It’s a nice promotion,” said Victoria Batruny. “People know it’s an additional discount. Some buy gift cards to use during the year.”

American Express cardholders must register their cards in advance at to receive a $10 credit on their card at up to three individual businesses, for a maximum of $30. Each purchase must be for $10 or more. Last year the credit was $10 total.

Independently owned restaurants such as Table 427 in Northwood Village in West Palm Beach are part of Small Business Saturday as well.

Maria Mackin, who owns Table 427 with her husband Norberto Villegas, the chef, said they’re expanding the promotion into the entire weekend from Friday through Sunday. There’s the village’s Art & Wine Promenade Friday night as well as a tree lighting from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Normally, entrees are $19.99 and up, but this weekend the Continental-style restaurant will offer a three-course meal for $21.95.

“It’s lovely to know we are encouraging people to step away from the big boxes and stroll through small communities,” Mackin said.

Northwood Village, home to more than 100 businesses, is offering a complimentary Mimosa or Bloody Mary at the info table in the 400 block of Northwood Road. Shoppers can return to the info desk to redeem their days’ receipts of $50 or more to register to win a gift package valued at $500, said Karen Grosser, City of West Palm Beach, special events marketing manager Community Redevelopment Agency. The event is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

At Pioneer Linens on Clematis Street in West Palm Beach, Saturday shoppers will be greeted with a glass of champagne, and treated to a storewide sale, said Penny Murphy, owner and president of the 102-year-old family-owned business.

There’s also a drawing with purchase for a $250 gift certificate, Murphy said.

“We have to compete somewhat with the big box stores,” Murphy said. “Most of our things are from Italy or Portugal. When someone gets a bargain here, they are really getting a bargain.”

Are you planning to go shopping on Thanksgiving or Black Friday?

Snap a picture (of the crowds or a really great deal) on your smartphone, and tell us about your experience on twitter or instagram.

Then we’ll share them with readers. Be sure to use the hashtag #PBBlackFriday so we can find your updates.

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