Havre de Grace merchants got a boost from the nationwide Small Business Saturday initiative the day after Black Friday that was sponsored by American Express.

Brigitte Peters, Havre de Grace marketing and tourism manager, said the day was a success for the city's small businesses.

"Being the second year of it, I think it's gone just fabulous," Peters said Wednesday. "Last year we were very fortunate to kind of get ahead of the ball to understand that it was happening.

This time, she said, "I think there was a lot more traffic. I think the merchants really stepped up."


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Peters was optimistic about the promotion growing larger in the future.

"Seeing that this is the second year of it, I just see it getting better," she said. "We have a small business community that produces a lot of jobs and offers a lot of value to Havre de Grace."

Stephanie Davis, a sales associate at Island Jack, said the gift shop saw a lot of customers during Small Business Saturday.

Island Jack offered a $10 gift card for every $65 spent, a discount of up to 25 percent on Chamilia products and a free bag for every $100 spent on Vera Bradley products.

"A lot of our regulars came in," Davis said about the event. "It was just wonderful. We did really well. We were really steady the entire day."

Davis said a big part of the day's success was that it followed up on the traditional Thanksgiving retail kick-off.

"Having that back to back with Black Friday was great," she said. "This is kind of our time of year, because we are a locally owned business."

She said all of downtown Havre de Grace seemed busy.

"I came in at noon that day and there was not a single parking space [free]," she said. "It was packed."

Jack Kelly, of Courtyard Books, said the day seemed popular with his customers as well.

"A lot of people commented on it when they came in," Kelly said. "It was a nice day. It was a good day for business. I had to remind them that we are here six days a week."

Kelly said the event was definitely a help for small businesses.

"It was a good day, something we all need," he said.