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TheStreet Open House

Small Businesses Step Out Of Black Friday's Shadow

Eden Organix, a spa in Highland Park, N.J., will give customers a 10 percent discount on the products it sells from 9 a.m. to noon, says owner Valerie Robinson who is promoting the event on Facebook, Twitter and on her own website. She doesn't expect to get a big revenue boost from the day â¿¿ she's more concerned about drawing new clients and cementing her relationship with current ones.

"We want to build more of a loyal customer base," Robinson says.

The event has helped some small business owners turn a day that was often a disappointment into a successful one. The Saturday after Thanksgiving is usually one of the slowest days of the year for retailers in Tribeca, the residential neighborhood that is part of New York's financial district. Many people are away for the weekend so business drops at Babesta Cribz and Babesta Threads, two Tribeca stores. Owner Jennifer Cattaui is taking part in Small Business Saturday for the third time, expecting that she'll get enough of a revenue increase to give her stores a normal take for a Saturday.

This year, Cattaui will give customers 20 percent off everything in her Threads store, which sells clothing, accessories and toys, and 10 percent off the furniture and strollers sold in her Cribz store. And she will have some giveaways, such as accessories for strollers.

She's also joining with about 20 other local businesses to promote one another. The stores, which also include a wine store and bakery, will give customers maps showing them other stores taking part in Small Business Saturday.

"By virtue of banding together and promoting ourselves as a unit, it will up the entire amount of traffic," Cattaui says.

Small businesses that don't accept American Express cards are having promotions of their own. Benny's, a chain of 32 stores in New England that sell housewares, toys, hardware and clothing, is offering special prices on merchandise ranging from Christmas tree lights to electric fireplaces. Co-owner Arnold Bromberg says the 88-year-old company has done this on Black Friday as well as Saturday for many years.

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