"Small Business Saturday" highlights local economy | ParkRecord.com

"Small Business Saturday" highlights local economy

Gina Barker, The Park Record

With the help of business associations in Park City, word is getting out about "Small Business Saturday," an annual event created by American Express to promote shopping local on one of the biggest shopping weekends in the country.

Situated in between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, "Small Business Saturday" is a national effort to get consumers to ‘think local’ as they start their Christmas shopping. The annual event started in 2010, and according to American Express, more than 100 million people shopped with independently-owned small businesses last year on "Small Business Saturday."

"This is an American Express concept, something to fill the gap of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, both days that focus on larger companies and businesses," said Craig McCarthy, the Director of Member Services at the Park City Chamber/Visitors Bureau. "It’s the missing piece, a link for small business, and we have a lot of small businesses in this community. A lot of our members are those small businesses.

" It’s certainly good to highlight small business like this because sometimes they get lost, but this day keeps attention on the fact that small business is part of strong part of the economic mix both in Summit County and the United States."

The Park City Chamber/Visitors Bureau distributed flyers, buttons, mugs and even doormats promoting "Small Business Saturday," and the Historic Park City Alliance, an association for Old Town businesses, joined in the effort.

"We want to take the time to make sure people realize the options in their local community," said Alison Butz, the Executive Director of the HPCA. " I heard that every dollar spent in town equates to three more dollars, whether that is buying dinner at a restaurant or buying a ski pass. Spend money in town has a multiplying effect, that when you spend with a small business, that stays in town."

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Park City Municipal is providing free public parking on Main Street through the month of December.

Shoppers and American Express members can learn more about the event at http://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business.