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‘Go Green Saturday’ Seeks To Boost St. Paul Businesses

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – The shopping’s not done yet. Wedged between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is Small Business Saturday, which has shoppers heading out to their local stores.

Some 147 million shoppers are expected to hit the mall or stores this weekend. Despite all the discounts and deals – The National Retail Federation predicts shoppers will spend $586 billion over the next month.

Those sales can account for up to 40 percent of a store’s annual revenue.

The Saturday morning rush at Black Dog Coffee in St. Paul is a welcome sight. There’s light rail construction right out front.

Owner Andy Remke says he can take a 25-percent hit depending on the type of work going on outside

“It’s been a challenge for our customers to get here and it’s been a challenge for us as a result,” Remke said. “It’s fatiguing…as a small business owner, cash flow is such a critical thing.”

Across the country it’s Small Business Saturday. But along the future Green Line its Go Green Saturday – created to encourage folks to shop at some 800 stores along the 11-mile route.

And to help all of those businesses survive during construction, the Met Council has offered up $1.2 million for advertising and promotions.

Sean McDonnell is using part of that funding to promote Go Green Saturday.

“Let’s just say we’re stretched pretty lean to be able to make that work over the next two years. The shops rely on word of mouth in many cases. These are shops that don’t have advertising budgets themselves,” McDonnell said. “And so what we’re happy to provide with an event like Go Green Saturday is the marketing and advertising support that a lot of these businesses just don’t have the resources to provide on their own.”

At Black Dog, the lines of customers are encouraging. Patron Jennifer Parker is all for the movement.

“In the end it’s worth it because you’re supporting where you live,” Parker said.

And right now, every store along the Green Line can use all the help they can get.

“When we see people come in it gives us more of a feeling like there’s an end, a light at the end of that tunnel,” Remke said.

To help encourage shopping, there’s no charge to take the buses along the Green Line until 8 p.m. Saturday night.

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