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Local Communities Team Up With AmEx to Shop Small

Northern Lakes Economic Alliance •  •

Elk Rapids is one of many communities gearing up for Small Business Saturday on November 24, 2018.

Amanda Baker, Downtown Development Coordinator

American Express is teaming up with small businesses and communities across the country to promote shopping local with Small Business Saturday, and Elk Rapids DDA is leading the charge for their community.

Held annually on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Small Business Saturday is the counterpart to the national chain shopping frenzy that is Black Friday. Shop Small invites customers to relax, meander, and find the unique gifts that only local businesses offer. Shop Small Saturday has long been a top sales day for the merchants in Elk Rapids, and with the support of American Express and the resurgence of shop local campaigns, the phenomenon has been steadily growing.

All it takes to get the boxes of swag and marketing materials all prepared by AmEx is to apply to be a Shop Small Champion. This role can be filled by any community member or business owner, but is often spearheaded by downtown associations or chambers of commerce. Freebies include reusable shopping bags, posters, dog bandanas, pens, and more, all to be shared to show some customer appreciation. The packages generally have enough for about 10 businesses to participate, or your champion group can set up a booth for shoppers to stop at while hitting all their local favorites.

If you’re community would like to initiate a shop local campaign beyond Shop Small Saturday, reach out to Northern Lakes Economic Alliance at

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