LADUE, MO (KTVI)-Competition for the holiday dollar is fierce as online marketing grows and black Friday promotions push the envelope on Thanksgiving. Now small businesses looking for their share have combined efforts to capture customers on what is being called Small Business Saturday.
American Express launched the concept nationally and merchants happily joined the effort to provide incentives to shoppers the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
"You look at all the media attention to Black Friday and all the big box stores and sometimes people lose sight as to what small business really means to us and what it has to offer," remarked Rick Williams, owner of Ladue Pharmacy, a multifaceted store where merchandise ranges from prescription drugs to elaborate music boxes.
Across Clayton Rd. from the pharmacy shoppers can find Lilly Pulitzer outfits for their next vacation trip or a silver wine goblet designed to appeal to duck hunters.
The historic district of St. Charles City lures history buffs and shoppers with its restored buildings and quaint, individualized stores. The city has been promoting holiday shopping for years by offering costumed characters who walk the streets, horse drawn carriages and beautifully decorated buildings as part of what they call "Christmas Traditions". It is often the best time of year for the merchants and restaurant owners.
St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay made the rounds of small business shopping districts Saturday first stopping to buy a gift at the Third Degree Glass Factory on Delmar before heading to businesses in the Central West End.
"About 80 percent of the people are employed in small businesses in the city so people who work here are our neighbors and this is their livelihood," Slay said. "It is good to support small businesses and locally made products too that really rejuvenate our local economy," he added.
More coverage: Shops See Boost From Small Business Saturday
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