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Small Business Saturday gets some help in NM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — From Old Town to Nob Hill and beyond, local businesses are prepping for Small Business Saturday, and this year they should be getting some help from a new tax holiday.

Under a law passed this year and signed into law by Gov. Susana Martinez, New Mexico-based businesses with 10 employees or fewer can sell goods without charging gross receipts tax this Saturday. The tax-free day covers a wide range of goods, from tools to jewelry, electronics to musical instruments, as long as the cost does not exceed $500.

The post-Thanksgiving shopping period is critical for many retailers, who count on it to keep them going through the rest year.

Janeice Silva, store manager for Gertrude Zachary’s Nob Hill location, said the store is offering 20 percent off all handmade jewelry from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Black Friday and 10 percent from noon to 6 p.m. and all day Saturday.

“This is on top on of any handmade pieces already 50 percent off,” Silva said. “This is the only time of the year Zachary customers can get the extra discount.”

Silva said the days after Thanksgiving are an opportunity for locals to get a quality product for a great price.

“We base a lot of our business on expecting post Thanksgiving customers … that’s the name of the game in retail,” Silva said.

Just a bit further down the street, Amanda Minette, sales assistant for Andy and Edie, a fashion boutique next to the Buffalo Exchange, is planning to combine Saturday’s sales with charitable giving.

“We will have discounted items, but we wanted to have a charitable aspect as well,” Minette said.

This year, she said, Andy and Edie is taking unwrapped toys and donating them to the Western Heights Learning Center. In exchange, customers will get $5 off any purchase of at least $50 and $10 off of purchases of at least $100, Minette said.

She said Small Business Saturday is a good opportunity to show off what the independent businesses in Nob Hill offer.

“You can find things here that you can’t find at the mall or anywhere else for that matter,” she said.

Minette said the boutique doubles its sales post Thanksgiving, providing as much as 30 percent of Andy and Edie’s annual revenue.

Taylor Sanchez, store manager for the Old Town Emporium said although she wasn’t having a formal post-Thanksgiving event, she would have some special offers.

“I usually wake up in the morning and think about what sale or deal we could offer on a daily basis,” Sanchez said. “I was thinking about doing a, show-some-local-I.D., get 10 percent off, kind of thing.”

Sanchez said there have been years where the local shops worked together to promote Small Business Saturday, but nothing had been planned this year.

“We do however get a bump in business on both Black Friday and Small Business Saturday,” she said. “In December, the weekends are typically the busiest, but nothing compares to Balloon Fiesta.”

The Old Town tree lighting event, which will be Dec. 7 this year, also counts as one of their biggest business days of the year, she said.

John Garcia, director of the Small Business Administration for New Mexico, said he refers to small businesses as oxygen to the economy. He pointed out that New Mexico supports about 154,000 small businesses, employing nearly 330,000 workers.

Last week, Garcia said he visited several small businesses in the Albuquerque area to get a feel for the upcoming shopping season.

“These business owners are working hard to provide a good product to the consumer,” he said. “They are trying to survive just like everybody else. I like to remind everyone that many big businesses all started out small.”