Small Business Saturday has lasting impact on local economy.

The 23 million small businesses in America account for 54 percent of all sales nationwide. Ninety-three percent of Americans believe it’s important to support the small businesses in their community, and Ironton residents are no exception to that statistic.

The second annual Ironton aLive-sponsored “Small Business Saturday” is Nov. 29 and 33 businesses have signed on to participate in an occasion that last year saw shoppers spend more than $5 billion at local establishments in the United States.

“Last year several businesses in Ironton reported their best retail sales day of the year on Small Business Saturday,” Jon Ferguson, executive director of Ironton aLive, said. “They are all anxious to be part of it again.”

Small Business Saturday was started by American Express in 2010 and is billed as “The Day We All Shop Small.” The event was officially recognized by the United States Senate in 2010 for the attention it brings to small businesses.

“Small businesses are the heartbeat of our communities,” according to www.shopsmall.com. “They are the corner stores that create jobs, the hardware stores that build our economy and the mom-and-pop shops that make a neighborhood your neighborhood.”

Thirty-three businesses are participating again this year. The sheet of one-day coupons will be available in the Thanksgiving Day edition of the Tribune and in printable PDF format online at www.irontonalive.com and on IrontonaLive’s Facebook page in the next few days.

“We are trying to make the coupons as available as possible,” Ferguson said. “Participating businesses will also have sheets available at their store.”

The Transit Center from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. will operate a trolley service on a continuous trek that will run from Ironton Hills Plaza to downtown then up Third Street to Spare Time recreation center.

Also from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Mrs. Claus will be decorating cookies with children at the Transit Center, Santa Claus will take pictures with children at the city center, a fire pit at the Farmers Market location will be set up for children to make s’mores and there will be story time and hot chocolate in front of the fireplace lobby at the Holiday Inn Express and Suites at the Gateway Center on Ninth Street.

American Express again this year has supplied Ironton aLive with “Shop Small” items for advertising the event.

“Participating businesses will have Shop Small door mats, balloons, bags, magnets and bumper stickers” Ferguson said. “Before last year there has not really been a concentrated effort on ‘Small Business Saturday’ locally,” Ferguson said. “Ironton aLive being involved seems to have piqued the interests of small businesses for the event.”

During last year’s Shop Small event, Joe Unger, owner of Unger’s shoes, said he has been in Ironton his entire life and has heard more good news in the past five years than in the previous 50.

“Ironton is alive and vibrant,” he said. “With the hospital, the bridge, the hotel, the restaurant, the Ro-Na; good things are happening and people have good attitudes. It’s amazing.”

Two Twitter hashtags, #ShopSmall and #ShopIronton, have been created in conjunction with Small Business Saturday. ___

This article was written by Brandon Roberts from The Ironton Tribune, Ohio and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.