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North Dakota Stores Gear Up for Small Business Saturday

Thousands of North Dakota retailers will be participating in Small Business Saturday this weekend.
Thousands of North Dakota retailers will be participating in Small Business Saturday this weekend.
November 27, 2015

FARGO, N.D. – Once the hype of Black Friday settles, thousands of locally owned shops, bookstores and restaurants will take the spotlight Saturday for Small Business Saturday.

In North Dakota, the operators of smaller stores such as Zandbroz Variety say they benefit from the increased attention.

Josie Danz, a manager at Zandbroz' Fargo location, says her store has been able to survive for 25 years despite competition from big box stores.

"If you want your communities to thrive, and you want your communities to be strong and vibrant you have to support the local economy,” she states. “And that comes back to shopping local, and we've seen that be very successful here in Fargo."

According to the federal Small Business Administration, smaller locally owned businesses provide about three-fifths of North Dakota's jobs.

And for shoppers on Small Business Saturday, many of those retail stores will be offering special sales.

Tony Malandra, a spokesman for the National Federation of Independent Business, says many smaller retailers have a tough time competing with bigger stores because government tax breaks tend to favor the big boxes.

But Malandra says small businesses play an important and unique role in the American economy.

"Small business is the largest employer group in this nation,” he points out. “It is where your son and daughter started. It's where you probably started your first job.

“And not only that, they're your neighbors. They're the people that will take a chance with you."

As for Danz at Zandbroz, she says her store has succeeded by doing its own thing and by combining Black Friday and Small Business Saturday for a two-day event, which she says has spread to other local shops.

"We call it plaid Friday, and anyone that wears any kind of plaid gets a discount on their total purchase,” she explains. “And so I think there's probably about 30 businesses in downtown Fargo that are taking part."

Nationally, small businesses make up about 40 percent of U.S. retail jobs and employ about 8 million people.

Brandon Campbell, Public News Service - ND