• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 35s

Alaskans talk Small Business Saturday

By Kirsten Swann 6:38 PM November 30, 2013

Drive to draw customers extends well beyond annual event

ANCHORAGE – Ask Lae Keobouala: He’ll say Nov. 30 was a day like any other.

The owner of Joy’s Corner stayed busy behind the counter of his Northway Mall café, brewing fresh espresso and selling sandwiches to the steady stream of customers trickling through his shop.

He’s never heard of Small Business Saturday.

The nationwide event – founded by American Express in 2010 – is a mom-and-pop alternative to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Customers are encouraged to patronize local small businesses, and American Express estimated consumers spent $5.5 billion over the course of the day in 2012.

In Anchorage, some local businesses offered special sales, promoting the push online and via social media.

But for Keobouala, the drive to draw customers extends beyond the Saturday event. It’s a daily effort, he said. It means a livelihood for his family.

He has a handful of regular customers. They work at Kaiser’s Locksmith, Urban Vibe, Hood Wings and other locally owned small businesses at the East Anchorage mall. Every day, they exchange crumpled dollar bills and news, a microcosm of Alaskan economic activity.

When the other shops in the mall do well, so does Joy’s Corner.

“I’ve been working like a maniac!” said one customer, jogging over to Joy’s Corner to pick up a few bottled drinks before returning to his job in another corner of the mall.

“You work too much, just like me!” Keobouala said, laughing.

The work pays off, slowly but surely.

While Small Business Saturday didn’t bring much of a business boost to the mall Saturday, Keobouala said steady work enabled him to quit his second job at a local grocery store and spend more time with his young children, either at home or behind the counter of his family’s coffee shop.

He said small business, powered by other small businesses, makes his life a little better.

“I’m lucky,” he said.

Latest Stories

  • Crime

    Anchorage police: 1 confirmed dead in Russian Jack shooting

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jan 29, 1:02

    One person has been confirmed dead after an early Thursday night shooting in the Russian Jack neighborhood, police say. The Anchorage Police Department responded to the report of a shooting near the intersection of Bragaw Street and San Jeronimo Court at around 12:30 a.m. This is the fourth fatal shooting of 2015. This is a […]

  • News

    JBER: active-shooter drill will cause gate closures, loud noises

    by Shannon Kemp on Jan 28, 23:09

    An active-shooter drill will be held at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson starting Thursday, base officials say. Starting at 7 a.m. on Thursday, the drill will test the ability of base personnel to respond to a situation similar to those faced by the victims of the Ft. Hood shooting near Killeen, Texas on Nov. 5, 2009, during […]

  • News

    Event for Anchorage’s homeless connects hundreds to resources

    by Shannon Ballard on Jan 28, 22:32

    A major humanitarian event called Project Homeless Connect worked to help nearly 800 people take steps towards permanent housing in Anchorage today. James Guisgetti was one of those people. He says he has been in and out of homes for 10 years. “I lost my job and therefore I couldn’t pay my rent,” said Guisgetti. “I […]

  • News

    Lack of funds hinder intersection improvements in South Anchorage

    by Dave Leval on Jan 28, 22:11

    Alaska’s budget issues continue to throw up more roadblocks for construction projects around town, according to the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities. The DOT wants to improve nine intersections around South Anchorage, including the one at Rabbit Creek Road and Golden View Drive. The department says the intersection has more crashes than most, and it’s been […]

  • News

    Bean’s Cafe soup road show back in Anchorage

    by Heather Hintze on Jan 28, 19:00

    There’s a soup showdown in town, a bean brawl to see which of Bean’s Café’s four flavors is a favorite for 2015. “Some people really get into it,” said marketing outreach coordinator Laura Nelson. “This is our second year doing this, and people really enjoy trying them. They like to talk to their friends about […]

  • News

    Walmart stocks shelves with Alaskan seafood

    by Bonney Bowman on Jan 28, 18:51

    A retail giant is now offering a wider selection of Alaskan seafood products. Walmart originally planned to stop selling Alaskan salmon, because the industry decided to stop paying for an outside group to certify the fish as sustainable. Sen. Lisa Murkowski and former Sen. Mark Begich both lobbied the chain to reconsider, since sustainable harvest […]

  • News

    Alaska lawmakers wait for marijuana bill rewrite that ‘reflects the will of the voters’

    by Sierra Starks on Jan 28, 18:03

    Alaska lawmakers have tabled a bill on how to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, saying they’re waiting for a bill rewrite that more accurately reflects what Alaskans asked for when they voted in November. After voters approved the ballot initiative to legalize marijuana in Alaska, the goal is now to pass a bill by Feb. […]

  • News

    APD seeking whereabouts of missing 14-year-old

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Jan 28, 15:16

    The Anchorage Police Department is asking for the public’s help in locating a missing 14-year-old girl who is considered a runaway. Police say Janessa Rodrigo-Legarda was last seen leaving school at 12:30 p.m. Jan. 15. She is described as 4’5″ tall, weighing roughly 110 pounds. She was last seen wearing a black North Face fleece jacket, black […]