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Small Business Saturday buoys some area stores

Doug Kirkpatrick, left, the owner of Star Co-Op Antiques on Main Street in Sturbridge waits on a customer Monday, Nov. 29. Kirkpatrick said his store saw increased traffic on Small Business Saturday. Kevin Flanders. (click for larger version)
November 30, 2010
STURBRIDGE — First came Black Friday, then Cyber Monday was established, and now shoppers have a new post-Thanksgiving retail holiday to keep track of Small Business Saturday.

Since Black Friday typically involves sales at large department stores and Cyber Monday allows shoppers to find great deals online, many politicians and storeowners across the country thought it prudent to dedicate a day to small businesses — which often struggle this time of year while people routinely head to the superstores or fire up their computers.

The idea for a Small Business Saturday was conceived by American Express officials, a day on which Americans are encouraged to spend money at small shops and restaurants in their communities. The first ever promotion was held Saturday, Nov. 27 and many local storeowners are grateful that an emphasis has been placed on supporting small businesses.

Some area retailers say the promotion worked.

"I definitely saw an increased interest in local businesses this weekend," said Doug Kirkpatrick, the owner of Star Co-Op Antiques on Main Street. "I have been getting a lot of new inventory lately, and I was very pleased with the turnout over the weekend."

Sandy Carroll, the owner of the Brier Patch on Main Street, agreed that Saturday was far busier this year than in years past. Since The Brier Patch specializes in creating home decorations and gifts, this was the perfect time of year for an increased number of customers to enter the store.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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