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Clawson Looks to Boost Local Business With 'Shop Small' Initiative

Nov. 26 promotion features $25 incentive from American Express to 'shop small.'

This seasonal greeting comes from hometown merchants: Don't be in thrall to the mall.

They're spreading the word via social media and window signs with help from American Express, organizer of the second annual Small Business Saturday on Nov. 26. The credit card issuer promotes a nationwide "day dedicated to supporting small businesses on one of the busiest shopping weekends," it explains online. "We’re asking millions of Americans to 'shop small' at their favorite local stores and help fuel the economy. When we all shop small, it will be huge."

The firm puts money where its promotion is by offering a one-time $25 rebate to shoppers spending at least $25 at a small business after registering their credit card here. Any non-franchised locally owned shop qualifies if it accepts American Express.  

Clawson will have a tent that Saturday at 14 Mile and Main street with a costumed Santa, giveaways and vouchers for a hot beverage at any local restaurant. "If shoppers come downtown, they won't have to stand in lines like on Friday at the chain stores," says Joan Horton, director of the .

"Downtown businesses provide jobs, preserve neighborhoods and fuel the local economy," says the latest newsletter from the Downtown Development Authority. "Show your support and shop local."

Shop Around

If you venture outside of Clawson, businesses in nearby communities are also participating in the initiative.

"Join us the Saturday after Thanksgiving," Birmingham retailer Karen Daskas, co-owner of , urges on its Facebook page. Daskas, a fashion retailer who also publicized the event last year, is a board member of the local Principal Shopping District – which spreads the drumbeat about Small Business Saturday via Twitter (@EnjoyBhamNOW) and Facebook.

Other Southeast Oakland business boosters join the push. "Stay local," suggests Ferndale's Downtown Development Authority in a "holidates" roundup that includes Nov. 26. "Avoid the malls and support your favorite merchants on this day, dedicated nationwide to promoting the good businesses that keep local economies prospering.

Some stores sweeten the deal with their own incentives. Stella Boutique on West Fourth Street in Royal Oak has a "buy two, get one free" jewelry sale Nov. 26.

“It’s always important to support your local community," another Royal Oak merchant, Kate Burton of Bingo Pet Salon, told the Detroit Free Press recently. "It think it’s great a company like American Express is doing something to help small business. . . . It’s a wonderful idea."

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