Small Business Saturday has a big impact on local retailers


A decade old marketing campaign by a credit card company still provides a boost to local businesses’ bottom line.

An impact that is evident at the Workhouse, a studio and retail space for artists in Southeast Bend.

“It really has been a movement to focus people’s attention on what’s happening in their local economy,” said Workhouse owner and director Cari Brown, “And for us, shop small is our second busiest day of the year.”

Customers browsed jewelry, satined glass, and other hand crafted wares searching for the perfect gift.

“Christmas presents, you know, trying to get some final things for my parents family members, said Michaela Loar of Bend.

In 2010, American Express launched the Small Business Saturday campaign. The idea was to spotlight small businesses on the Saturday between the big box store’s Black Friday sales and the rise of online retailer’s Cyber Monday.

For many the day morphed into a shop small mindset that goes beyond holiday purchases.

“Absolutely. Especially here in Bend. I mean, it’s so hard to live here and cost of living is very high. I want to support the community in any way that I can,” said Loar.

That’s music to the ears of small, local business owners.

“You really can’t do anything better for your community from a from an economic standpoint. So many statistics will tell you that when you purchase from a local maker or a local small business, like 63% of your dollar stays in your economy,” added Brown, “and that’s a really big deal for keeping, you know, people in housing and keeping people, you know, in health care.”


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