DECD Encourages Local Support of Small Business Saturday

For Immediate Release: Nov. 15, 2012

Media Contact: Drew Morris drew.morris@maine.gov; 207-624-9812

AUGUSTA – While Black Friday officially starts the holiday shopping season, the Department of Economic and Community Development encourages all Maine shoppers to support their locally-owned businesses on Small Business Saturday this Nov. 24.

“I can’t think of a better way to support your community, your shop owners and, most importantly, your neighbors than to spend locally,” said George Gervais, Commissioner of the DECD. “Our department launched the Maine Made Marketing Program several years ago and it is great to see so many of the participants in that program are having the opportunity to benefit from the Small Business Saturday initiative.”

Last year, more than 100 million shoppers came out nationally in support of independently-owned small businesses on the day. Having supported the Small Business Saturday initiative for the last two years, one shop owner says it really helps to drive traffic through her doors.

“I did see an increase in sales on the Saturday after Black Friday last year,” said Lisa Marie Stewart, owner of Lisa Marie’s Made in Maine, a consignment shop with locations in Bath and Portland. “I find that our customers like this initiative in that they’re supporting local people, keeping their shopping money in Maine.”

Lisa Marie’s Made in Maine works with approximately 250 local crafters and artisans, and employs 12 to 13 people depending on the season. As a member of the Maine Made Marketing Program, she encourages all her vendors to join. “It makes a big difference to have the Maine Made logo on your product,” she said.

The Small Business Saturday initiative was created by American Express in 2010 as a day for everyone – from business owners who create jobs to the customers who buy locally – to support small businesses that invigorate the economy and keep communities thriving. For more information on the Small Business Saturday initiative, visit www.shopsmall.com. And for more information on the Maine Made Marketing Program, visit www.mainemade.com.

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