President Obama Shops Local on Small Business Saturday

small business saturday
President Obama calling a US soldier stationed overseas on Thanksgiving.

“Black Friday,” as it has come to be called, was a bleak day for many shoppers this year, though sales rose 2.3%, likely due to stores being open on Thanksgiving, making “Black Friday” a two-day (or more) event. One part of the “Black Friday weekend” is known as “Small Business Saturday,” a shopping initiative branded by American Express in 2010, meant to encourage consumers to purchase holiday gifts from local retailers.

President Obama has been publicly participating in Small Business Saturday since 2012, when the Senate “adopted a resolution designating November 24, 2012, as ‘Small Business Saturday’ and supporting efforts to increase awareness of the value of locally owned businesses.” This year the President urged Americans to “Shop Small” via a tweet he sent this afternoon:

The President and his daughters headed to Washington’s Politics and Prose bookstore “and purchased what he said was a “long list” of books that included “The Kite Runner,” “Harold and the Purple Crayon,” and “The Sports Gene,”” according to The Washington Post. The Boston Globe notes that “In a complementary effort dubbed “Indies First,” independent bookstores across the country this year are inviting local authors to come work in their shops for a day, where they can connect face-to-face with readers and recommend their favorite reads.” The paper says, “Several retailers who spoke with the Globe said it was difficult to know for sure if Small Business Saturday had increased sales, since it comes during the already busy holiday shopping season. But they said the national ad campaign would help educate consumers about the importance of shopping locally.”

As of 2013, the Sunday of the weekend after Thanksgiving carries no official shopping connotations, but “Cyber Monday” and “Giving Tuesday” will soon be upon us, followed by the holiday I just coined, “What Happened to my Wallet Wednesday.”

Photo credit: The White House on Flickr

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