COPPERAS COVE — Several locally owned stores around the city officially will participate in American Express and U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Saturday and Shop Small programs.
The Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce and Visitor’s Bureau was one of 100 chambers nationwide selected to participate in the programs and promote residents shopping at locally owned businesses this Saturday between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, stated a news release from the chamber.
“Shop Small, Shop Local affects all of our businesses, but this is more geared toward the retail side, because it is between Black Friday and Cyber Monday,” said Betty Price, chamber president. “Black Friday is geared to the big corporate retail stores, and the local businesses are getting pushed out of the way.”
Small Business Saturday is an effort to help those smaller businesses offer promotions to attract people to our local retail stores, she said.
Those stores often can offer a less crowded and more relaxed atmosphere for buying unique Christmas gifts.
“We can’t afford to give such great deals (as the giant chain stores) to bring people in on a regular basis,” said Michelle Nuno, owner of Terra Bella, one of 26 businesses participating in Copperas Cove. “So this will hopefully bring people in, and they can see what we do have to offer.”
Terra Bella sells Texas and Mexican decor that isn’t likely to be found at the bigger chain stores because its items are not mass produced.
To promote the businesses, the Copperas Cove Chamber was given 200 $25 American Express gift cards.
Those gift cards are being used at the participating stores as prizes for those who shop Saturday, Price said.
Another service the Shop Small and Small Business Saturday program is offering at the locations is free gift wrapping for purchased items, stated the news release.
Nuno said she hopes the promotions help make her store attractive to new customers who may be shopping for a special holiday gift.
“(Saturday) is very important because people tend not to visit the small businesses because they tend to shop for convenience,” Nuno said. “This gives them the opportunity to see that we have things that you are not going to see in other places. People will have the chance to visit and discover new little shops near them.”