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Businesses planning promotions to lure shoppers

PRINCETON — Savvy shoppers can get some of their holiday shopping done early this year with special promotions planned for the next two weekends.

Many Princeton businesses will be offering Early Black Friday specials to lure shoppers to their stores as part of the full slate of Princeton Christmas Open House activities this Friday through Sunday.

“This is the first year we have added this to the events on Friday night,” said Kim Frey, director of the Princeton Chamber of Commerce. “Many stores will be participating, some all day and others on Friday night only. We have also added more live window displays and Secret Santas to increase visitors and traffic on Friday night. We wanted to offer visitors something else to do after the Christmas tree is lit (at Darius Miller Park).”

In addition to early Black Friday specials, Small Business Saturday will be marked this year by many Bureau County small businesses the next weekend on Nov. 30.

This is the fourth year of this celebration, an American shopping holiday held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving during one of the busiest shopping periods of the year.

First observed on Nov. 27, 2010, it is a counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which feature big box retail and e-commerce stores respectively. By contrast, Small Business Saturday encourages holiday shoppers to patronize brick and mortar businesses that are small and local.

In 2012, consumers spent $5.5 billion with independent merchants on this day, according to the Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, released by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and American Express.

Frey said Small Business Saturday is a national initiative aimed at getting consumers to spend locally and support the small businesses in their communities for at least one day during the holiday shopping season. The Princeton Chamber of Commerce is proud to be a part of this program, Frey said.

It is a win-win for everyone when people shop small businesses, the heartbeat of communities, added Frey.

“It gives retailers a huge boost for them, and it is important for everyone to shop local,” she said. “It is so important to shop local first. We have seen increased traffic each year on Small Business Saturday.”

To make Small Business Saturday a success, it’s important for everyone to get involved, Frey said.

“Not only are these small business owners our friends and our neighbors, but they are the driving force behind our regional economy,” Frey said. “For every $100 spent at locally-owned independent stores, more than half of it returns to the regional economy through taxes, payroll and other expenditures.”

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