Local businesses prep for Black Friday

HOUGHTON – As Black Fridays sales hit chain stores earlier every year – with some starting during Thanksgiving Day – smaller chains and local businesses continue to offer discounts and sales for the holiday season. However, most of those deals will start Friday.

“We have a big sale at the beginning and run other promotions through holiday season, but Friday is our big push,” said Connie Gaff, manager at Surplus Outlet in Houghton.

Many local stores will offer sales Friday for Black Friday shoppers. Some have stocked special merchandise just for the holiday season.

“We have some items like sock gift sets and when they’re gone, they’re gone,” Gaff said. “It’s not specifically Christmas or holiday merchandise but gifts.”

For many businesses, the holiday season is an important time to make profits. For stores with a seasonal emphasis, like Surplus Outlet, the holiday season marks the beginning of the busy season.

“The holiday season is important (for sales) but winter in general is important for us,” Gaff said. “We have all the stuff to keep you warm and dry outside.”

For information on Black Friday specials from local and chain stores, check the inserts in today’s paper.

Although stores may start sales on Black Friday, community members can also support local stores by shopping on Small Business Saturday. First celebrated in 2010, Small Business Saturday was launched by American Express to celebrate local businesses as opposed to the Black Friday emphasis on chain stores. Although there has been no specific planning by the Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce, many local businesses are recognized as qualifying American Express Small Businesses. According to the American Express website, customers who register their card and spend $10 or more at participating small businesses on Saturday will receive a $10 statement credit.

Some qualifying small businesses include North Wind Books in Hancock, Keweenaw Gem and Gifts in Houghton, Louie’s Fresh Market in Calumet and Copper World in Calumet.

For a complete list of local qualifying business visit shopsmallnow.americanexpress.com. For more information on Small Business Saturday, visit www.facebook.com/SmallBusinessSaturday.