Shoppers support small, local businesses

Jim Lynch
The Detroit News

Westland — Coming immediately on the heels of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday can get lost in the post-Thanksgiving shuffle.

But Westland Mayor William R. Wild did his best to make sure residents got the message about supporting smaller, local businesses. Starting out at Leo’s Coney Island on Warren Road, Wild marked the occasion by handing out gift certificates to the breakfast crowd.

Later, he would stop in at Jonna’s Market and several other unique local institutions among Westland’s unique commercial offerings.

In a press release, Wild stated: “ Statistics show that for every $100 you spend locally, $66 stays in the local community. That means your dollars are helping to build parks, libraries and improve fire and police departments.”

The Detroit branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People kicked off what officials expect will be an annual program to help boost support for local businesses. Called Shop Detroit 2015, the event started off at 1917 American Bistro along Livernois — an area known as Detroit’s Avenue of Fashions.

Small Business Saturday is the brainchild of American Express. The company promoted the first such day in 2010. Last year, the promotional effort helped generate an estimated $14.3 billion spent at small businesses on Small Business Saturday.

A trio of organizations - Build Institute, Detroit Experience Factory and the Business Improvement Zone - took over the lobby of One Campus Martius Saturday, allowing local vendors to set up shop and sell their products. The “pop-up market” is designed to help smaller businesses get exposure.

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