Mom-and-pop retailers gear up for Small Business Saturday, as towns try to stoke excitement

Independent retailers are gearing up for Small Business Saturday, a day used to promote mom-and-pop retailers, and many towns are doing their best to support the effort. 

In 2018, an estimated 104 million consumers shopped at independent retailers and restaurants on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. They spent $17.8 billion, the most since the shopping event was created by American Express in 2010 to help drum up business in the wake of the Great Recession.

Kathi Petrocelli opened The Olive Tap in 2006, right before that economic downturn started. The shop, which sells olive oil, balsamic vinegars and gourmet foods, is one of 49 small businesses in downtown Long Grove, Illinois. On Small Business Saturday, the store will usually see a few hundred customers more than it would on a regular holiday season day, she said.

Woman shopping through The Olive Tap in Long Grove, Illinois.

Diamaris Martino / CNBC

The town works with the American Express Small Business Saturday campaign to promote the event, and individual retailers like The Olive Tap promote it on their social media accounts and flyers.

“Our village prides itself on the small-town feel and personal attention to shoppers with unique and beautiful items,” said Laurie Wilhoit, marketing communications manager for the Historic Downtown Long Grove Business Association.

The Olive Tap

Click here to view the full story