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What makes a local Arizona business succeed or fail?

Many small businesses are salivating over the next several weeks. This is the time of year that often tips retailers from showing a loss to profitability. That’s one of the connotations for the term “Black Friday” — the time when many firms finally go into the black, or plus column, for the year.

It helps that consumers are showing no signs of slowing down, despite widespread pessimism about the country’s direction and heavy debts carried by millions of Americans, with ongoing credit card balances recently topping $1 trillion for the first time. Despite these and other obstacles, the National Retail Federation forecasts a respectable 3 to 4% increase in spending this holiday season.

Many small businesses, especially in retail, do rely heavily on holiday sales. Nearly three in five small retailers surveyed by digital marketing platform Constant Contact consider holiday shoppers to be “extremely important” to their overall success. Most shoppers, in turn, are receptive to trying new venues during the holidays — 84% of consumers surveyed said they’re likely to purchase something from a business they never dealt with previously.