Local Businesses Compete on Black Friday by Cooperating.2Small shops in Portland are banding together to battle the Big Box retailers on Black Friday, Nov. 25. The independent retailers call their event “Little Boxes” and they’re offering a crosspromotional discount and a raffle to lure shoppers away from the pile-ons at the major chains.

At the latest count, 77 Portland shops are participating, mostly clothing boutiques, but also a skin care center, an antique mall and a toy shop.

The merchants set up a cooperative website with links to each shop and a look at the raffle prizes: an iPad, a night at a luxury hotel, tickets to Cirque du Soleil and gift certificates to stores and restaurants. To enter, shoppers just have to visit one of the stores and ask for a ticket. Shoppers can also show a receipt from any other Little Box store to get a 10 percent discount on purchases.

The event promoters are using Twitter and Facebook to build excitement over the event. The Twitter page already has 290 followers. “I am pledging to do ALL of my holiday shopping at local businesses (aka Little Boxes),” one fan commented on the Facebook page . “Yay for such an amazing promotion!”

“Being a small business owner, it’s impossible to compete with the larger stores when it comes to advertising,” a shop owner is quoted in the Little Boxes announcement. “Pulling together with other small business owners helps us have a larger voice, and it’s so nice to get to network with other Portland businesses.”

Do you know of other ways that local businesses are competing on Black Friday? Let us know below in the comments.

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