Local businesses offer specials for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday

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Local businesses offer specials for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday

By Camille Murray

While many shoppers flocked to big box stores and retail chains this Black Friday, several local businesses offered their own holiday specials.

Various shops and services throughout Champaign, Urbana and Savoy launched sales in honor of Black Friday and its online counterpart, Cyber Monday. Shoppers had an assortment of local deals to choose from, including sales and discounts at businesses such as Art Mart, Checkered Moon, Carle Auxiliary Resale Boutique and Babyland. For some stores, the holiday weekend helped bring larger packs of customers.

“Since there’s a lot of families that come together this weekend, the people that come in our store have been in bigger crowds,” said Mahetom Eatoma, a store and warehouse associate at Babyland in Savoy.

However, Black Friday isn’t the only day local businesses use to promote sales. For many, the days leading up to or following Black Friday have become the main promotional focus, due to competition with bigger stores. 

“We definitely had less customers,” said Mary Gorman, assistant manager at Briella’s Boutique in Savoy. “It was definitely slower in here. I think everybody’s doing their big shopping, getting their TVs and their really big purchases on Black Friday.”

The day after Black Friday, called “Small Business Saturday” has become a big selling day for local businesses. American Express launched the first Small Business Saturday in 2010 with the hopes of encouraging shoppers to buy from smaller businesses to help support their communities.

Katie Turk, manager of Karen’s Kloset in Champaign, said Small Business Saturday is her store’s main focus because it is difficult for their business to compete with the bigger sales held at larger store chains.

“(Black Friday) just doesn’t really fit into our pricing structure; we’re not really able to compete with those huge discounts,” Turk said. “So we really focus on Small Business Saturday, and just reaching out to customers to say, ‘Come in on Saturday, it’s a good time.’ It’s a fun type of atmosphere that we offer.”

In addition to the widespread sales held on Friday, Saturday and Monday, consumers are also being encouraged to participate in one of the newer promotional holidays — Giving Tuesday. 

The idea behind the day is for nonprofits.  Families, businesses and people around the world have the opportunity to come together to celebrate generosity and give more to others.

According to the Illinois Donors Forum, the state’s goal for this year’s Giving Tuesday is to raise $12 million from 100,000 individual donors and Illinois nonprofits in one day.

The Courage Connection program in Champaign County will be one of the local organizations participating in Giving Tuesday, held Dec. 2. Their goal this holiday is to provide 31 safe nights of shelter. People can donate to the cause through the Courage Connection website, which states that $60 can provide shelter and supportive services for a single woman, and $185 can provide the same for a family.

Camille can be reached at [email protected].