American Express launched the first-ever Small Business Saturday
in 2010, encouraging people across the country to support small,
local businesses. It has been held annually the Saturday following
Thanksgiving. Communities have the opportunity to register their
events on www.americanexpress.com, which allows them to receive
marketing support for their events. The IC/ED Zone followed this
process and was provided many marketing materials, but also
continued online support through the entire planning of the event.
The event already has garnered lots of support from the downtown
business community and continues to add businesses daily. Anyone who
is wanting to participate but might not be located in close
proximity to the downtown area, or are home-based are encouraged to
sign up. We have “host” site businesses available and are asking
other businesses to sign up for that as well. Businesses in Easton
and San Jose are encouraged to get signed up to be placed in a host
location as well. ALL businesses and downtown entities are
encouraged to participate, not just retailers. This is a great time
for service businesses to also welcome visitors and shoppers into
their business and showcase what they offer to our community.
Participation information can be found by calling 217-685-9313 or
Shoppers coming out for the event will be welcome by business owners
who will have specials, open house events and drawings. Each
participating business will be highlighted with “shop small” balloon
bouquets outside their doors to welcome shoppers and visitors.
Some of the downtown businesses that will be participating include
Subway, Do Drop In, Smokey’s Bar & Grill, Means’ Woodworking Shop,
Retro Redo, City Video Vaping and Tanning, Attitudes Apparel, The
Jacob Project, Tank’s Barber Shop, The Mason City Farmer’s Market,
Mary Kay, Usborne Books, Mary Beth’s Jewelry and Young Living
Essential Oils. The IC/ED Zone will also be hosting a booth of
information regarding upcoming meetings and initiatives.
The Arlee Theater has announced their sale of gift certificates,
Polar Express Experience tickets and concessions, including their
homemade caramel corn. They will be hosting several businesses.
Do Drop In will have full menu available from breakfast on
through lunch with visitors invited to start with a good breakfast
and end with lunch. They will also host several businesses in their
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City Video Vaping and Tanning has compiled a full page of products, perks and
coupons for phone repair, free rentals and tanning specials.
Retro Redo will continue to showcase holiday décor sales and Smokey’s Bar &
Grill invites all shoppers to end their shopping day with them for lunch.
So many more businesses with so many more great offers will be participating-
it’s a true “DON’T MISS” event.
The Illini Central Economic Development Zone is a new group that has come
together to combine resources from the three communities within the Illini
Central District, San Jose, Mason City and Easton, to focus on helping to
improve the economic health of the region. A kick-off meeting was held in early
November and monthly meetings will start in 2017, with the first one to be
January 10th at 7 p.m. at the Do Drop In. Business owners, city officials,
interested community members of any age, from all three communities, are
encouraged to attend and get involved. The group will be bringing the MAPPING
process to the area in early spring and their first item of business will be to
build a MAPPING steering committee.
The Small Business Saturday will be a great way to get out and see what the area
has to offer, to shop small, and support our local businesses. There is still
plenty of room and time to get signed up to participate as well. Information
about this event, the Illini Central Economic Development Zone can also always
be found by going to
www.thejacobproject.com and using the link for the IC/ED Zone at the top.