DENHAM SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) - For the fifth year in a row, American Express is holding Small Business Saturday nationwide to support smaller companies in the United States the weekend after Thanksgiving.
The Livingston Parish Chamber of Commerce is embracing the idea, encouraging local businesses to offer deals to shoppers on Saturday, November 28th.
Jake Sibley, owner of "Jakes on the Avenue" in Denham Springs, is kicking off the week with a holiday open house on Tuesday, November 24th. He says he'll be offering door prizes and discounts, leading up to Saturday's campaign.
"We like to hold people in the area instead of them running off to other bigger box stores," Sibley said.
Other businesses in the Antique District are offering similar promotions to try to get customers in their doors this week. Livingston Parish Chamber President and CEO, April Wehrs says "mom and pop" stores are not the only locations that qualify. She says a franchisee with up to ten locations or $10 million in sales is still considered a small business.
"Just in a year, look at the growth we've had in the retail sector. That's why our campaign goes beyond shop small," Wehrs said, in reference to the new Juban Crossing development.
Her office is expanding the idea of Small Business Saturday, to encourage shoppers to choose local businesses year round, using hashtags like #ShopLivingstonParish and #LoveLivingstonParish on social media.
In East Baton Rouge, the Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) is also gearing up for Saturday, asking people to use the #SmallBiz hashtag.
"The Baton Rouge Area is home to a wide array of quality, locally-owned retailers. Small businesses form the backbone of our regional economy," said Adam Knapp, president and CEO of BRAC.
BRAC says more than 80 percent of regional workers are employed by small businesses.