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Business briefs

Studio opens

Jeffrey Beer has opened a photography studio at the Fairfield Bay Village Mall, across from the Our Towne Conference and Visitor Center.

Beer, a Navy veteran whose mother is a longtime Van Buren County resident, has recently returned from the Philippines, Panama and Thailand to help manage his mother’s affairs and assist with her long-term care.

Small business

Small Business Saturday helped jump start the holiday shopping season for small businesses across the country.

According to the second installment of the 2013 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, released Monday by the National Federation of Independent Business and American Express, consumer awareness of Small Business Saturday across the U.S. jumped to 71 percent from 67 percent during the same period a year ago. Of those aware, 46 percent said they shopped on Small Business Saturday.

With awareness up, the end result was increased spending at small businesses. This year, consumers who were aware of Small Business Saturday reported spending $5.7 billion with independent merchants on the day, an increase of 3.6% from a strong $5.5 billion in 2012.

“In just four years, the nation has adopted Small Business Saturday and made it part of the holiday shopping tradition,” said Susan Sobbott, president of American Express OPEN.

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