GALLIPOLIS — Black Friday has traditionally been dominated by larger business in the U.S. as retail conglomerates vie for customers’ attention with tempting deals. Small Business Saturday is meant to remind customers to support their favorite local stores and hometown family business.
The day arose in response to Black Friday as well as Cyber Monday, both commercial events which cater to businesses with larger resources. Small Business Saturday was a promotional effort intended to match the others. The first Small Business Saturday events were sponsored by American Express along with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Boston Mayor Thomas menino and Roslindale Village Main Street in 2010.
“A lot of our businesses have been involved but it’s only been within the last couple of years that we have tried to make a concerted effort to draw attention to those businesses,” said Gallia County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Michelle Miller. “It gives our stores an opportunity to show off some of their unique things. Our hope, like everything we do, is to promote our members.”
According to Miller, the chamber is doing a raffle in support of Gallia efforts as well as a scavenger hunt. Hunters are asked to travel to participating businesses to find answers to clues and drop of their completed forms at a participating business on Nov. 28. A drawing will be held Dec. 1 for a variety of prizes ranging from gift cards to meals and drinks. Visit the chamber Facebook page for more information.
Since 2010, Small Business Saturday has grown into a nationwide event, which according to a 2015 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, brought more than 95 million consumers to shop at small businesses in 2015.
“As a small business owner, I can tell you firsthand that shopping locally has a major impact on our community and every community,” said local entrepreneur Tessa Pugh, co-owner of Silver Screen Cinema, Rocket VII Interactive and Pip and Hud’s. “When you make a purchase at a small business, you are keeping your money in the community in which you live. Small businesses pay local taxes, employ local residents, purchase supplies locally and support local charitable contributions. With the support of the local community, small businesses are also able to continually add new products to their existing lines, hire new staff members and update their infrastructure. In order for business to continue to do those things just mentioned, it has to be successful, and in order to be successful, it must have the support of its local community.”
Up in Meigs County, merchants have a similar attitude about Small Business Saturday.
“It is a special day for the community to come together and support one another,” said Susan Clark of Pomeroy.
“I am proud to be part of the business community I grew up in. Supporting local business provides for future generations to continue in local business,” said Clark who owns Clark’s Jewelry store. The business has roots in the community dating back to 1881.
Clark noted that she is proud to be part of the business community which allows for her and other local businesses to give back to the communities they are a part of. “Being able to give back and be part of the community is one of the luxuries of being a small business,” explained Clark.
It is the support of local customers and the local community that helps businesses like Clark’s and Hartwell House remain in the community for many years.
“Local business is important because stores will not be in business for 21 years like I have if you don’t have local support. We are getting ready to start our 22nd year and we count on local customers,” explained Bobbie Karr, owner of Hartwell House. “Every little bit helps whether its a dollar or a hundred dollars.”
“It is important everyday,” said Front Paige Outfitters owner Paige Cleek of shopping local, noting that Small Business Saturday helps to promote the local shopping opportunities.
Signs, bags and other promotional items have been handed out to many of the local businesses, with Herbal Sage Tea spearheading the promotional items.
Herbal Sage, which is relatively new to Pomeroy, is not typically a retail location, but will be open for Small Business Saturday and other events in Pomeroy this weekend, allowing shoppers to see the renovation work to their building, located at the intersection of Butternut and Second in Pomeroy.
Other shops and businesses along Butternut, Second Street, Mulberry Avenue, Main Street and Court Street, and many other locations throughout the area will be taking part in Small Business Saturday activities as well.
When considering your local businesses for Christmas gift needs or other shopping opportunities, don’t forget your local newspaper as well. We offer subscription opportunities for both print and electronic editions as well as numerous advertising opportunities throughout the year.
Like the other businesses in the area we appreciate your support of the work we put in day in and day out to bring you your local news.