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Local retailers tie together on Small Business Saturday

Realize that there is strength in number, and several small businesses tie together in neighborhoods and downtown to attract buyers on Small Business Saturday.

Retailers bring up art of shop windows and holiday lights in North Loop, leading a wood lighting to culminate afternoon activities of 50 and France in Edina and a Christkindlmarket three-day festival in the center of Excelsior.

"We can walk around, see what appeals to us in the shop windows and stop at shops or coffee shops," said Chris Bray from Minneapolis when she left the Parc boutique in North Loop on Friday with her daughter who was at home for Thanksgiving weekend. "Black Friday, small business Saturday ̵[ads1]1; there is a chance for a family holiday."

This is the ninth year of Small Business Saturday, which was created to help small businesses attract more customers. Awareness of the "buy local" movement has expanded every year as small businesses find new ways to attract holiday traders.

"When encouraging local clients to support small businesses, it reinforces the value of the community and small businesses that support each other," said Nicole Leinbach Reyhle, spokesman for small businesses on American Express.

Five years ago, about a dozen shops and restaurants in Minneapolis's North Loop neighborhood. This number has more than doubled this year for the new North Loop Lights event.

It has businesses that date back to days when shop windows blink customers to go into a store. Martin Patrick 3, with windows as welcoming as in the former Dayton center, created a naughty and beautiful theme with impeccable mannequins who have white or black wings and crowns, drink martinis and play electric guitar.

" Seeing an increasing number of participating retailers add solidarity to the neighborhood, says Greg Walsh, co-owner of Martin Patrick.

Marie Dwyer, co-owner of Cooks of Crocus Hill, which has three Twin Cities sites, has recently expanded its North Loop store with oversized windows currently theme "Toast," "Give" and "Get."

"It's fun to return to old retail and create excitement through the screen," she said. "It makes shopping fun. We need more of it now."

Dwyer's store also offers cooking demonstrations, hot cider and a gift with some purchases.

Most small businesses can not offer the same level of discounts as large box dealers due to lower volume and lack of promotional payments from manufacturers, but large full 20 percent of sales are not uncommon for the annual event one day after Black Friday Every year.

Small retailers make up for the lack of big doorbusters by treating a return visit, says Bill Damberg, owner of Brightwater Clothing & Gear in the center of Excelsior.

"It's a celebrating feeling with our German Christmas market, a little parade and Father Christmas," he said by the four blocking the heart of Excelsior's center.

Independent dealers hope wee weather in Twin Cities will encourage customers to venture out to their own neighborhood retailers and hopefully take a walk in one of the more well-known shopping areas. Think downtown Anoka, Excelsior, Wayzata or White Bear Lake. Or the neighborhoods of 50 and France in Edina, 48 and Chicago and Uptown in Minneapolis and Highland Park and Grand Avenue in St. Paul.

Grand Avenue expands its holiday park to the next Saturday with Santa, Carolers and a classic carriage along the Business District's 20-plus blocks for the annual Grand Meander.

The Small Business Syndrome sits around a merchant buyer who collects in neighborhood stores, but many small stores now refuse their online customers. More than half of consumers are expected to seek out retailers' websites on Saturday or Cyber ​​Monday, according to American Express.

Ilana Fromer from Minneapolis said she preferred the simple home delivery to a car seat she ordered at on Friday morning. She later went to the North Loop Pacifier store to pick up things for her 1 year old and a baby on the way.

"It's enough for the kids to do while we're shopping," she said. "Saturday night, we're coming back to look at the lights."

For small shops without online sales, the American Independent Business Association has started Cider Monday to promote an alternative to Cyber ​​Monday. Many bookstores have embraced the concept in previous years, but the local bookstore Magers & Quinn in Uptown wants to hedge a bit by continuing to offer discounts online on Monday.

"People appreciate the cider, but they look like the discount a little more," says Annie Metcalf, store manager.

Dean Sidelinger from Portland, Ore., In Twin Cities for Thanksgiving, said that Small Business Saturday's appeal is to find something else.

"Neighborhoods Have Different Brands You Do not See Everywhere," he said Friday. "It's a break from the chains."

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