It’s holiday shopping time again, and the Wayne Township office is gearing up for the season to benefit our clients with the Christmas Bureau program and with our annual Holiday Celebration (held this year on December 16 at the McMillen Community Center). These are special activities we’ve been enjoying for the last several years now. But lately I have been thinking about some of the more commercial aspects surrounding the holidays, like the idea of declaring special days for different kinds of shopping such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. I especially like the idea of Small Business Saturday.
Doing my research on the internet I learned that Small Business Saturday was first observed in the United States on November 27, 2010 to encourage holiday shoppers to patronize their small and local ‘brick and mortar’ businesses. The first event was sponsored by American Express, in partnership with the non-profit National Trust for Historic Preservation. In 2010, the holiday was promoted by American Express in a nationwide radio and television advertising campaign. That year Amex bought advertising on Facebook, which it in turn gave to its small-merchant account holders. It also gave rebates to new customers to promote the event.
American Express publicized “Small Business Saturday” using social media, advertising and public relations. Many local politicians and small business groups in the United States issued proclamations. The movement was a success, and Small Business Saturday has been going ever since.
I like the idea of promoting small and local businesses in part because, as a Township Trustee, I realize the value of living and doing business on a local level. After all city, town, and townships are the governments closest to the people. Like with a locally-owned business, if you have a comment or an idea you can call or visit your local Township Trustee office and talk to someone person-to-person. Local government and local businesses are the most accountable to their people. They truly care about what you think.
The day after Thanksgiving has become known as Black Friday. As the first day after the last major holiday before Christmas, it marks the unofficial beginning of the Christmas shopping season. Additionally, many employers give their employees the day off as part of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. In order to take advantage of this, virtually all retailers in the country, big and small, offer various sales and promotions to entice traffic. Recent years have seen retailers extend beyond normal hours in order to maintain an edge or to simply keep up with the competition. Such hours may include opening as early as 12:00 am or remaining open overnight on Thanksgiving Day and beginning sale prices at midnight.
Indiana is one of twenty-four states that have made “The Day After Thanksgiving” an official holiday for state government employees. That day off work, usually takes the place of Columbus Day when state government offices remain open. This year, as we have done every year since 2007, Wayne Township Trustee Office will open their doors on “Black Friday” and be available for emergency needs. We don’t make appointments that day as we work with just a skeleton crew of department directors, but I think it’s important that our office not be closed for two days in a row. So, if you or someone you know are in need that day, we are here for you.