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TRENTON A senate resolution sponsored by Senator Shirley K. Turner that would encourage residents to support small businesses by shopping local during the holiday season passed the Senate Commerce Committee today.

The resolution, SR-103, urges residents to continue to support and observe “Small Business Saturday,” a day observed after Thanksgiving that is promoted by small businesses to encourage residents to purchase gifts, products and services at smaller stores and businesses in their local communities.

“Much like large corporations, small businesses have an integral role to play in the economic success of our state,” said Senator Turner (D-Hunterdon/Mercer). “Yet, unfortunately, many small businesses are overshadowed by high-priced major retailers with the money and resources to advertise during big holiday savings like ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Cyber Monday.’ Observing a day in support of small businesses will encourage residents to contribute back to their communities and keep local shops and stores thriving during the holiday season. I urge residents to participate in Small Business Saturday but also to continue their support by shopping local year-round.”

According to the United States Business Administration Office of Advocacy, there are approximately 800,000 small businesses operating in New Jersey, which employ an estimated 1.7 million individuals in this state. These small businesses are the backbone of the state, providing services and employment to individuals in industries like finance, health care, the arts, real estate, manufacturing and retail, among many others.

“From local gift shops to boutique stores, New Jersey is home to thousands of small businesses that provide service and employment opportunities for many of our residents,” added Senator Turner. “These businesses are key in helping drive our local economy, creating jobs and spurring growth in the various industries established across the state. It is important that we continue to support our local market, retail store, gift shop, and all the small businesses out there by purchasing their goods and services.”

“Small Business Saturday” was initiated by the American Express Company in 2010.  The program offers incentives to consumers through additional credit on their credit cards for purchases made on that Saturday in registered small businesses.  Additionally, small businesses benefit through subsidized advertising intended to promote shopping at local, small businesses.

The resolution passed with a vote of 6-0. It now heads to the Senate for consideration.