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Obama, daughters visit bookstore for ‘Small Business Saturday’

President Obama and his daughters visited an independent bookstore on
Saturday to participate in “Small Business Saturday.”

{mosads}Obama is urging Americans to shop at neighborhood stores as an alternative to big Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales by
national chains. He also dispatched top White House aides to do
holiday shopping at local small businesses on Saturday.

Obama has made a tradition of marking Small Business Saturday by
visiting a non-franchise bookstore with Sasha and Malia. Last year,
the president and his two daughters visited Kramerbooks & Afterwards
Café in Dupont Circle. 

This year, the trio visited One More Page Books in Arlington, Va., a short
trip across the river from Washington, D.C. They stayed in the
bookstore for just over half an hour, according to a White House pool
report, and immediately returned to the White House. 

Despite a lack of browsing, the president bought 15 children’s books
during the stop. The White House reported the purchases will be given
as gifts to family this year for Christmas. Obama explained that he
prepared ahead, apparently consulting a Christmas shopping list on his
BlackBerry.

“Preparation,” the president told shop owner Eileen McGervey,
according to the report. “That’s how I shop.”

The federal government is offering stores free Small Business Saturday marketing materials and
promoting the event on social and paid media in a partnership with
American Express.

“From the mom-and-pop storefront shops that anchor Main Street to the
high-tech startups that keep America on the cutting edge, small
businesses are the backbone of our economy and the cornerstones of our
nation’s promise,” Obama said in a statement Friday. “Through events
such as Small Business Saturday, we keep our local economies strong
and help maintain an American economy that can compete and win in the
21st century.”


Top administration officials will also be heading to local stores in
an effort to highlight the promotion. According to ABC News, Valerie
Jarrett plans stops at an art gallery and bookstore in Hyde Park, the
Chicago neighborhood of the White House senior adviser and the Obamas.

Small Business Administration administrator Karen Mills is planning to
shop for blueberry jam at a Farmers Market in her hometown of
Brunswick, Maine, and then will head to Roslindale, Massachusetts, for
an event with Boston Mayor Tom Menino.

“It’s great to find the perfect gift from a small business,” Mills
said in a blog post on the White House website. “Often, when you carry
it to the counter, you can see the business owner’s eyes light up.
They tell a story about how that gift was made. Or where it came from.
Or how it’s a one-of-a-kind. And the gift immediately becomes even
more meaningful and special. Moments like that are what makes the
holidays magical.”

And White House press secretary Jay Carney also tweeted a message encouraging shoppers to visit small businesses. 

–This report was originally published at 11:01 a.m. and last updated at 2:17 p.m.

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