The Norman Transcript

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November 24, 2012

Shop small, shop local

NORMAN — Today is Small Business Saturday and many local businesses are offering special savings in honor of the annual event.

American Express launched Small Business Saturday three years ago as a means of supporting the small, local businesses that are the backbones of community and cumulatively responsible for a large percentage of jobs.

“Last year, over 100 million people came out to shop at independently-owned small businesses on the day,” American Express reports.

“Black Friday is supposed to be kicking off the shopping season, but I feel like it’s more about the big stores,” said Lee Ann Looman, co-owner of the Webb. “American Express started this to help small businesses, and it gets bigger every year.”

The Webb, 2001 W. Main St., is one of the local businesses that promotes the annual event. This year, Looman is offering a 20 percent discount on dresses, handbags and jewelry to honor Small Business Saturday and as a way of saying “thank you” to the store’s customers.

“I think it’s cool to get the mindset back to keep the dollars local,” Looman said. “We offer an incentive every year to promote it.”

Economic impact isn’t the only reason to shop small businesses, however.

“One of the things I like when I shop at a small business is being able to park in front of the store,” Looman said. “Our customers become our friends. We know them by name. We call them when something comes in that we know they will like. It’s more of a relationship.

“You don’t get that personalized service in the bigger stores,” she said.

The Webb has been in business in Norman for 62 years, on Campus Corner until 1984 and at the Main Street location ever since. Looman is currently assisted by daughter Mattie Looman, making the third generation to operate the store.

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