Small Business Saturday records highest turnout

This year, shoppers reported visiting local independent businesses during Small Business Saturday more than ever before, according to the Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey released by the National Federation of Independent Business and American Express.

There were 95 million shoppers that came out for Small Business Saturday on Nov. 28 — an 8 percent increase over 2014.

“It’s very encouraging to see small businesses participate every year and more shoppers giving local entrepreneurs a chance to compete for their business,” federation President and CEO Dan Danner said.

“Americans are returning to Main Street for the things they need, and ultimately that’s a very healthy economic trend.”

Spending passed $16 billion at independent retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday, which was an increase of 14 percent over 2014, according to the survey. The report also said among the shoppers, more than 30 percent also attended a community event, and 81 percent encouraged family members and friends to support their local, small businesses.

“Small Business Saturday is an increasingly important economic engine for independent businesses,” said Janey Whiteside, senior vice president and general manager of American Express OPEN. “These impressive numbers demonstrate the value that Small-Business Saturday brings to local businesses, and American Express is proud to support the Shop Small Movement. We encourage shoppers to support their local businesses not only on Small Business Saturday, but all year long.”

Support rallied around the event. More than 4,100 neighborhood champions around the nation rallied local businesses and aided in the creation of events and activities within their community. That was a 48 percent increase over 2014. Federal officials and agencies also showed their support over social media.

Veterans Home gets five stars

The Nevada State Veterans Home in Boulder City earned Medicare’s five-star rating for overall and quality measures.

“This important recognition at the federal level confirms the strength of the home’s dedicated commitment by staff and management to quality care for our veterans,” Gov. Brian Sandoval said. “As Nevada strives to deliver its promise of the most veteran-friendly state to American’s veterans and their families, the commitment to veterans’ health is crucial and lifelong.”

The rating is the highest offered by the government agency. Nursing Home Compare ( offers a place to learn about the ratings, a portal to patients and family members seeking comparisons on several nursing home options. The database only includes information on Medicare- and Medicaid-certified nursing homes. It includes more than 15,000 nationwide. The home opened in 2002 and was Nevada’s first. The home serves 180 residents, 75 percent of whom are veterans. The other 25 percent are spouses of veterans and Gold Star parents.

The Veterans Home has won several other awards over the past few years through HealthInsight. The center was one of four out of 52 statewide that were honored at the Nevada Health Care Association Convention in Lake Tahoe in August.

Henderson on best cities list

Henderson was 33 on a list of the 50 best cities to live, according to a study released by 24/7 Wall St. Henderson was the only Nevada city on the list.

“Henderson is truly becoming America’s premier community,” Mayor Andy Hafen said. “We continue to provide programs, services and resources that foster a safe community and enhance the quality of life to those who live, learn, work and play in Henderson.”

The cities were rated in more than 550 areas and included those with populations of 65,000 or more.

Some of the variables included crime rate, employment growth, access to restaurants and attractions, educational attainment and affordable housing.

Henderson scored high in categories such as low crime rate, median home value and low property taxes. The property taxes are some of the lowest-rated in the nation.

Henderson also scored well on its low daily commute times and access to things such as parks and outdoor activities.

Henderson was incorporated in 1953 and is Nevada’s second-largest city with almost 280,000 residents.

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