Supporting Small Business Saturday
Small purchase, big difference
HOUGHTON – Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) is seen as the first day of the holiday shopping season and so is one of the biggest shopping days of the year. However, most of that shopping is done at big box stores. In 2010, American Express launched “Small Business Saturday” to promote holiday shopping that supports local communities. The Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce is a big supporter.
For the last three years, the Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce has held a kick-off event to jumpstart the Houghton-area shopping season. The event at their main street Houghton location includes free coffee, doughnuts, and “swag” from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Small Business Saturday. Shoppers can also enter into a drawing for $100 in “Keweenaw Cash” which can be redeemed at participating businesses.
“We’ve seen over a hundred people come through. Covid year was tough, but we followed all of the regulations and went ahead with it,” said the Chamber’s Katie Schlief. “It’s usually nice weather and it kicks off the Christmas shopping season.”
Shoppers that stop at the Welcome Center can also pick up a coupon booklet directing them to holiday sales at area businesses. Local businesses get their promotions, or a seasonal greeting, into the coupon book for free. And, they still have some time to do so. As of this writing, Schlief said that about forty businesses have submitted coupons so far, but as many as eighty-five have participated in the past.
Schlief further said that the Chamber’s Houghton location is ideally suited at the top of Sheldon Avenue, as shoppers can start there and walk down the town’s main street – potentially stopping at some of Houghton’s many coffee shops and restaurants if they get hungry or thirsty during their holiday shopping. This part of town is currently under construction but parking is available behind the building.
“Any small purchase can make a big difference,” said Schlief.
The Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce Houghton Welcome Center is located at 902 College Avenue in Houghton. This year, Small Business Saturday lands on November 26, but businesses only have until November 18 to submit a coupon, sale notice, or seasonal greeting to be included in the guide book.
Businesses and shoppers alike can get more information by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling the Chamber of Commerce at 1(906)482-5240. The Chamber’s regular hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.