On Wednesday morning, Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler announced two upcoming events geared toward encouraging shoppers to support locally-owned businesses over the holidays.
The Shop the Blocks Holiday Celebration takes place from 5 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, November 15th and the third annual “Small Business Saturday” is scheduled for November 24th.
The Mayor was joined by representatives of the DLA, the Nebraska Retail Federation, the Chamber of Commerce, the Lincoln Independent Business Association at Dietz Music which has been in business since 1927.
“The Small Business Administration tells us that small businesses like Dietze have generated 64 percent of net new jobs over the past 15 years. Shop the Blocks and Small Business Saturday remind us of the importance of supporting our locally-owned businesses during the holiday shopping season and all year,” said Beutler.
DLA’s first Shop the Blocks event was in November 2011. Todd Ogden, DLA’s Marketing Director, said the semi-annual events have attracted more than 1,000 shoppers to downtown and produced $100,000 in sales for the businesses participating.
The Shop the Blocks Holiday Celebration will feature 20 stores offering discounts as well as appetizers and desserts from local restaurants and caterers.
To participate, shoppers check in at The Single Barrel, 10th and “P” streets between 5 and 8 p.m to pick up or purchase all-access passes. The passes are $10 at the door or $7 in advance online at shoptheblocks.com. The passes are good for discounts, food and access to chauffeured limousine service and the after party. Pass holders also are eligible to win prizes, which will be awarded at the after party.
American Express is promoting Small Business Saturday – which falls between “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” – at www.smallbusinesssaturday.com. The company will give a $25 statement credit to 100,000 American Express card members who register their cards and use them November 24 at any locally-owned, independent small business that accepts American Express. Registration begins Sunday, November 18 at shopsmall.com. Qualifying small business owners can receive free online advertising and marketing materials.
According to American Express, more than 100 million people participated in Small Business Saturday in 2011. More than 500,000 small business owners used resources from 75 sponsoring corporations for promotion, including 15,000 that received free Facebook advertising. More than 2.7 million Facebook users “liked” the Small Business Saturday page in 2011 compared to 1.2 million in 2010.