Get Started: Small business Saturday, veterans

NEW YORK (AP) — SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY

Black Friday may be a big yearly tradition, but some business owners say they'll be urging consumers to think small.

A recent survey from the National Federation of Independent Businesses and American Express found that 46 percent of the 500 small merchants surveyed plan to incorporate Small Business Saturday as part of their holiday strategy.

Small Business Saturday falls on the weekend following Thanksgiving, the traditional start to the holiday shopping season. It's sandwiched between Black Friday — the day after Thanksgiving when many large-store chains advertise deals to attract shoppers to their stores and Cyber Monday when Internet retailers have special offers to entice people to spend online.

American Express helped create the day to help small business owners draw customers on a weekend usually focused on big stores and blockbuster deals. The company provides marketing materials, signs and other tools to help draw shoppers to their stores, restaurants and other businesses for the day.

The majority of business owners surveyed said that they'll offer discounts on Small Business Saturday. Some are also offering contests, prizes and free gift wrapping to attract shoppers.

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STUDY: VETERAN STARTUP RATE DECLINES

The rate at which veterans are founding new businesses is starting to decline, according to a study.

Until recently, veterans generally started companies at higher rates than non-veterans. However, a study by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation shows that veteran entrepreneurship, as a percentage of the broader population, has been declining steadily over the past two decades. In 1996, veterans represented 12.3 percent of all new entrepreneurs. By 2011, veterans comprised just 6 percent of new entrepreneurs, according to the study. The drop in veteran share appears to be due to the declining percentage of veterans in the working-age population in the U.S.

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NAWBO GETS DONATION

The National Association of Women Business Owners' Institute for Entrepreneurial Development has received a $10,000 donation from The Sara Blakely Foundation. Blakely is the founder of the popular Spanx women's undergarments. Donations to the institute, a nonprofit educational foundation, are used to research and develop programs and initiatives to help ensure the success of women entrepreneurs.

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