HOUGHTON – Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) is considered the first day of the holiday shopping season, making it one of the biggest shopping days of the year. However, most of these purchases are made in large department stores. American Express was launched in 2010 “Saturday for Small Businesses” To encourage Christmas shopping that supports local communities. The Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce is a big supporter.
For the past three years, the Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce has hosted a kick-off event to kickstart the shopping season in the Houghton area. The event at their Houghton High Street location includes complimentary coffee, donuts and “Prey” from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. on Small Business Saturday. Buyers can also enter a $100 raffle “Keweenaw Cash” redeemable at participating stores.
“We saw over a hundred people coming. The Covid year was tough but we followed all the regulations and kept going.” said Katie Sleeps from the Chamber. “It’s usually nice weather and it’s the start of the Christmas shopping season.”
Shoppers stopping at the Welcome Center can also pick up a book of coupons directing them to holiday sales at businesses in the area. Local companies enter their promotions or a seasonal greeting in the voucher book free of charge. And they still have some time for that. At the time of this writing, Schlief said about forty companies have submitted vouchers so far, but no fewer than eighty-five have participated in the past.
Schlief went on to say that the Chamber’s location in Houghton at the top of Sheldon Avenue is ideally suited as shoppers can start there and walk down the city’s main street – potentially stopping at some of Houghton’s many cafes and restaurants if they’re during get hungry or thirsty during your stay holiday shopping. This part of town is currently under construction but parking is available behind the building.
“Every small purchase can make a big difference” said sleep.
The Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce’s Houghton Welcome Center is located at 902 College Avenue in Houghton. This year, Small Business Saturday lands on November 26, but businesses only have until November 18 to submit a coupon, sale ad or seasonal greeting to be included in the guide.
Businesses and buyers can obtain additional information by emailing [email protected] or by calling the Chamber of Commerce at 1 (906) 482-5240. The regular opening hours of the chamber are Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
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