BERWYN – Berwyn’s small business community is reaching out to its customers with offers of added savings on Small Business Saturday this weekend.
The national promotion, sponsored by American Express, was started five years ago to build momentum for small businesses as an answer to Black Friday promotions that generally represent bigger, corporate stores. The Berwyn Development Corp. was designated as one of American Express’ Neighborhood Champions to help promote small business on the retailer holiday.
“The thing that made most sense for us is we know a lot of these businesses were doing something special,” Berwyn Development Corp. spokesman Amy Crowther said. “We wanted to be a one-stop-shop for all these promotions being offered by our small businesses.”
As a result, participating independent merchants and small business owners will be offering coupons that are accessible at www.whyberwyn.com. The coupons cover virtually anything for shopping, food and restaurants, salons, spas, florists, services and community events.
Also five videos made by local business owners offer a look into some of Berwyn’s popular retail destinations such as Horrorbles,Vasecky’s Bakery, James & Williams Jewelers, Dan’s Bike Shop and Hurst’s Berwyn Jewelers.
Kathy Hurst, owner of Hursts’ Berwyn Jewelers, 6418 Cermak Road, owns one of those businesses, and has been serving customers for 47 years. She decided to recruit 12 businesses to join her in a unique promotion she developed and covered all the costs to make it happen.
Whenever a customer makes a purchase in one of the 12 stores, they are given a card listing all 12 participating businesses. A sticker is then placed next to the name of the business where a purchase was made. As a result, the customer’s name is then entered into a daily drawing for jewelry made by Stroili of Italy valued up to $500.
Hurst said the promotion is designed to create a buzz that will draw customers into the community. However, its up to the small businesses to offer something special to the shopping experience. And that’s personal service.
“We’re going to provide something that’s of value to clients,” she said. “Beyond getting a deal, customers should also have an experience different than they would get from the mall. You have different expectations. They should at least be met or exceeded.”