Small Business Saturday brings customers, doesn’t change financial reality

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by JOHN LANGELER / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @jlangelerKING5

KING5.com

Posted on November 23, 2012 at 11:23 PM

REDMOND, Wash. -- In the wake of Black Friday, which brought masses of shoppers to big-box retailers the day after Thanksgiving, smaller stores are preparing for a day of their own.  

Small Business Saturday was created in 2010 by American Express to encourage consumers to take some holiday shopping to local shops.

“It’s a good promotion,” explained Anne St. Germain, owner of McDonald’s Book Exchange in Redmond, “I really think it makes a difference.”

St. Germain has owned McDonald’s for 14 years.  Her store features 50,000 used books.  She readily admits she makes “no attempt” to know where they all are.
 
“The best advertising I got was the guy who drove through the side of the building,” she recalled, “We got our name in the paper.”  St. Germain pointed out the driver was fine.
 
Despite the specially coined day for small businesses, St. Germain said that is not enough to stave off other ‘small business-related’ issues.  In her case, losing her building lease.
 
“Our building’s been sold and we have to move,” she said, “If we go out of business, there’ll be nobody carrying these (books).”
 
Business has been steadily declining in her store, as book sales gravitate towards online and big-box retailers.  She is concerned that no matter how good traffic is on a day for small businesses, it won’t be enough to save the store.  The lease expires in the summer.
               
“You hate to abandon people like that,” she explained, “It’s sort of what’s happening.”

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