Small Business Saturday spotlights Alaska companies

Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday comes Small Business Saturday, a nationwide recognition of the role of small businesses in communities across the country.

In Alaska, they help generate the majority of net employment growth in the private sector, said Britteny Cioni-Haywood, director of the state’s Division of Economic Development.

“Small businesses also employ about half of the workforce, typically,” she said. “And so I think in Alaska it can be really important to understand how those small businesses contribute to our communities.”

The Anchorage Downtown Partnership has coordinated Small Business Saturday events for years. This year on Nov. 24, shoppers can find special deals at 33 participating shops and restaurants around Downtown Anchorage, said ADP Marketing Director Penny Smythe.

Smythe said shoppers who make purchases at participating businesses on Small Business Saturday can bring the receipts to the ADP tent in Town Square Park from 5-7:30 p.m. to receive a free tote bag, discounts to shows at the Performing Arts Center and a chance to win two airline tickets.

Small businesses are an important part of Downtown Anchorage’s economic ecosystem, Smythe said. They hire Alaskans, provide a variety of services to Anchorage residents and shape the local streetscape.

“So the more that we can really support our local community and our local businesses, and spend money physically in that shop, that really supports everything around us, not just that specific business,” Smythe said.

Kirsten Swann is a producer and reporter for Alaska Public Media.

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