In 2010, American Express founded Small Business Saturday to encourage people to shop at local businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This Novemeber, a wide-ranging group of local businesses and United Way of Northern New Mexico coordinated the event in Los Alamos. Dozens of local retailers, restaurants, service providers, home-based businesses and non-profits participated in Los Alamos and White Rock.

The Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce participated by distributing Small Business Saturday Passports to local merchants for shoppers to pickup and use as a guide to find other participating businesses. The passports were then turned for a chance to win a gift card package.

The Chamber also helped design a map and directory of participating members published in the Los Alamos Monitor’s Spirit of Giving insert. The Small Business Saturday organizing group provided shopping lists, gift ideas, and tips to making gift giving easier than ever. The insert was delivered on Thanksgiving Day.

The Los Alamos Daily Post published a series of highlights about the participating businesses, allowing shoppers to get better acquainted with the local merchants.

Many of  the merchants reported increased sales and traffic on Small Business Saturday. The joint efforts by the organizers and the enthusiasm of the public made this special effort a success.