Obama visits bookstore, promotes 'Small Business Saturday'

WASHINGTON Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:49am IST

U.S. President Barack Obama and his daughters Sasha and Malia (R) visit One More Page Books store in Arlington, Virginia, November 24, 2012. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

U.S. President Barack Obama and his daughters Sasha and Malia (R) visit One More Page Books store in Arlington, Virginia, November 24, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Yuri Gripas

Related Topics

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama, in a bid to show support for small businesses, took his daughters on an early Christmas shopping trip on Saturday as the U.S. retail sector swings into high gear this holiday season.

Promoting "Small Business Saturday," the third annual event that encourages consumers to support independently-owned local shops, Obama took his daughters Sasha and Malia to "One More Page Books" in Arlington, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, D.C.

"Preparation," said Obama, while talking to the store owner at the front counter and looking at his BlackBerry, apparently checking book titles while his daughters stood at his side. "That's how I shop."

Over the last two decades, small businesses have created two of every three U.S. jobs. To try to spur job growth, the Obama administration says it aims to cut taxes for small businesses and expand entrepreneurs' access to financing.

Both Main Street merchants and larger retailers will find out soon if the so-called fiscal cliff that threatens to produce tax increases and automatic spending cuts in January will subdue shoppers and hold back spending this holiday season.

Congress and Obama are about to negotiate on a deal to avert the roughly $600 billion in tax increases and spending cuts set to start jolting the economy at the beginning of 2013.

Asked by reporters what is needed to cushion the economic impact of the looming fiscal cliff, Obama declined to answer, saying "we're doing Christmas shopping."

The White House said Obama bought 15 children's books that will be given as Christmas gifts to family members.

Last year, more than 100 million Americans shopped locally on Small Business Saturday, according to an estimate by American Express.

Small businesses taking part in the initiative use social networks like Facebook and Twitter to promote deals and attract potential customers.

Taking to Twitter himself after the shopping excursion, Obama wrote: "My family & I started our holiday shopping at a local bookstore on #SmallBizSat. I hope you'll join & shop small this holiday season."

The nationwide initiative that urges customers to open their wallets to local businesses follows Black Friday, one the nation's busiest shopping days at major retailers falling the day after Thanksgiving.

The Monday after Thanksgiving is known as Cyber Monday, where deals are found on the Internet and is more often a hit with shoppers unwilling to brave long lines.

(Reporting By Margaret Chadbourn; Editing by Vicki Allen)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Gaza Attack

Gaza Attack

At least 15 dead in Israeli shelling of Gaza school - Health Ministry.  Full Article 

Ukraine PM Resigns

Ukraine PM Resigns

Ukrainian prime minister tenders his resignation in parliament.  Full Article 

Health Crisis

Health Crisis

Myanmar Muslims in remote Rakhine suffer worsening health crisis.  Full Article 

Afghan Election

Afghan Election

Afghan vote recount moves at snail's pace, rival sides far apart.  Full Article 

Iraq Government

Iraq Government

Iraq elects president as Ban urges unity to save nation.  Full Article 

Freedom at Last

Freedom at Last

Death row Christian woman flies out of Sudan, meets Pope.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage