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Sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY

Congresswoman Uifa’atali Amata

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — With big box stores and online giants swooping up customers during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, small businesses are getting on the bandwagon of the shopping holiday introduced in 2010 by American Express — Small Business Saturday.

The shopping holiday gained more attention this year after Gov. Lemanu P. S. Mauga proclaimed November as National Entrepreneurship Month in American Samoa and revived the annual Biz Fest, promoting local businesses at the kick off to the holiday buying season.

“Small Business Saturday is a chance to appreciate the small businesses all over our islands that we depend on every day,” said Congresswoman Uifa’atali Amata in a press release about the event. “In the United States, this emphasis on small businesses on Saturday developed as a reaction to the fact that Friday after Thanksgiving is the biggest shopping day of the year.

“Since much of that economic activity in the U.S. goes to large chains and bigger businesses, Small Business Saturday became a way to help emphasize the neighborhood entrepreneur, too.

“Of course, in American Samoa nearly all of our businesses are defined as small businesses, and they are vital to our local economy. These small businesses play a part in everything from tourism to the tuna industry. They provide fresh fruits and delicious island foods, along with cultural specifics, such as the traditional clothes and tatau we can only get here in the Samoan Islands.

“Starting any business takes courage, risk, and vision, and we need and appreciate each one,” she continued. “Federal and local governments have a necessary but limited role, helping ensure safety and fairness, and working to provide opportunities, especially through essentials like dependable roads, broadband and water infrastructure.

“Thank you to American Samoa Small Business Development Center and ASCC, the American Samoa Chamber of Commerce, and other local leadership efforts. Whatever product or service your small business provides, thank you for being important to our communities, and best wishes for a prosperous 2023!”