Independent Merchants Draw Big Crowds on Small Business Saturday
Although Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and now even Thanksgiving are becoming the biggest shopping days of the year in the United States, more Americans are keeping things local thanks to Small Business Saturday.
First begun on Nov. 27, 2010, Small Business Saturday encourages shoppers to skip the mall and head out to local retail boutiques, restaurants, artisans, and other merchants to support their local economies. This year, the National Federation of Independent Business found that about 95 million Americans went shopping on Saturday, Nov. 28, an increase of 14% from last year’s crowds.
In Rochester, NY, residents are enthusiastic about keeping their money local, especially in the city’s trendy South Wedge neighborhood.
The Democrat and Chronicle reported that shoppers were especially excited to check out businesses like Zak’s Avenue, Thread boutique, Little Button Shop, Hedonist Chocolate, Cheesy Eddie’s, Mise en Place, Harry G’s Deli and Purple Painted Lady, among others.
“We have such a diverse neighborhood,” John White, co-owner of Equal Grounds Coffee on South Avenue, told the Rochester newspaper. “People are very focused on supporting the community.”
Nationwide, between 25 and 27 million small businesses make up approximately 60-80% of all jobs, making them a vital part of local and state-level economies.
The suburbs weren’t left out of Small Business Saturday in Rochester, either.
Cooks’ World in the town of Brighton saw huge crowds in its store on Saturday, as well.
Instead of fighting over items like mugs, cookie cutters, and pots and pans, shoppers enjoyed looking at the store’s unique inventory and interacting with the merchants.
And for Chris Wiedemer, owner of Cooks’ World, the popularity of Small Business Saturday is proof that Americans like to support their local economies.
“We’ve been here for 37 years,” Weidemer told Time Warner Cable News in Rochester. “So, the mom and pops have been here long before the Internet, long before all the big boxes that are all here.”
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