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Small Business Saturday to benefit NJ consumers and businesses

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Mom and pop shops around New Jersey are gearing up for Small Business Saturday, a shopping holiday created to encourage consumers to spend their money on Main Street.

“Small Business Saturday is an opportunity for shopkeepers to really shine,” said Laurie Ehlbeck, New Jersey state director of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). “This Saturday will afford them the chance to win customers who will continue to support them throughout the year.”

Unlike Black Friday, when big box stores get their chance to shine, Small Business Saturday focuses on some 71,000 small business retailers throughout the state, as well as its 18,000 eating and drinking establishments—most of which are locally owned, including franchisee-owned chains, according to NJ Restaurant & Hospitality Association President Marilou Halvorsen.

Last year, in its seventh year, Small Business Saturday attracted 112 million consumers who spent a total of $15.4 billion in local shops and restaurants nationwide.

“Restaurants are equally important to New Jersey’s economy and we want to emphasize that small restaurants also depend on local holiday shoppers to stop by for lunch or dinner after a full-day of shopping,” said U.S. Small Business Administration New Jersey District Director Al Titone.

Titone’s advice to small business owners? Make it easier for customers and adapt to their needs. 45 percent of millennials have already adopted mobile payments, according to Square’s 2016 payments survey. By the end of this year, TechCrunch estimates that 70 percent of mobile users will have used a mobile payment method.

“You have to keep with the trends in order to compete or you get left behind,” Titone said.

And when people spend money on Main Street, both consumers and business owners benefit. “When someone spends $100 at a local small business, $68 stays in our local economy,” he said.  “If that same $100 is spent at a large big box business, only $43 stays in our local economy.”

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Gabrielle Saulsbery

Gabrielle Saulsbery

Albany, N.Y. native Gabrielle Saulsbery is a staff writer for NJBIZ and the newest thing in New Jersey. You can contact her at gsaulsbery@njbiz.com.

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