For Ray and Becky Hanf, owners of Mission Fresh Fashion, getting involved with Small Business Saturday is a no-brainer.
“We saw a 350 percent increase in business after Small Business Saturday started,” Becky said. “It was a game changer for us. It was the only thing that got consumers out of the mall and supporting small business.”
And American Express, the national sponsor of the push to encourage shoppers to visit the retail little guys, makes it attractive. The credit card giant sends “Shop Small” tote bags and advertising materials to participating businesses, and card-holders who sign up get double reward points.
When the Small Business Saturday response to the shopping frenzy of Black Friday began several years ago, participating consumers got a $25 credit on their AMEX card. That proved a bit expensive though and was discontinued after three years, Becky said.
Business dropped off a bit last year, but was still much healthier than before the promotion started. Now the double reward point incentive has replaced the credit, and the promotion extends throughout the holiday season until Dec. 31.
It’s a great boon for Mission Fresh Fashion, which the couple founded in 1998. It’s a classic mom-and-pop business, there are no other employees. Early on, they carried Fresh Produce Sportswear, a clothing company started by friends in 1984.
For awhile, the store sold both clothing and accessories, as well as actual food produce.
“Fresh produce, both wearable and edible, that how we started,” Becky said.
The retailer has been at its current address, 6102 Johnson Dr., since 2010. Other Johnson Drive retailers that have signed on so far to Small Business Saturday are Lulu’s Boutique and SugaRae’s Children’s Boutique although more are expected.