By guest blogger Jessica Henry-McClements
Shopping at a small family-owned business is one of the most pleasurable activities I get to participate in on a regular basis. Having grown up in Fulton County, I have always been surrounded by small shops and specialty stores that are family owned and operated. There are big chain stores and trips to the mall, but the best experiences are almost always at businesses owned by locals who know me and my family.
While many of us still spend most of our dollars at box stores and through online shopping, the shop-local movement has grown. In recent years, the shop-local trend has helped to drive people back to downtown settings where they support small, local businesses whenever possible. People are now searching out personal service and one-on-one relationships with business owners. As a small business owner myself, I have seen a new resurgence of people opening brick-and-mortar shops where customers can buy locally handcrafted items, farm products and specialty items right along the institutions that have endured – the heritage businesses that make our communities unique.
Nothing can compare to walking into Rossbach Shoes and having Mr. Rossbach search his collection in order to find you the perfect pair of sneakers or placing my trust into Peck’s Flowers to create just the floral arrangement I am looking for.
Ten years ago, American Express started Small Business Saturday – and the larger trend with the phrases “shop small” and “shop local.” Small Business Saturday is a dedicated day at the start of the holiday shopping season encouraging communities to patron the small mom-and-pop shops and family owned businesses that make their hometowns special. Small business owners are important members of our community and have a direct impact on our economy. For every $1 spent at a locally-owned store, $0.67 stays in the community and filters through to other local businesses. This means that you have a direct impact on the future of your hometown when you shop downtown.
Small Business Saturday is this weekend, November 30th with lots of shopping and special activities in downtown Gloversville including craft fairs and the Holiday Parade.
This year, Small Business Saturday is November 30th and I encourage you to take the time to get out and “shop small, shop local” – it’s a great time. You’ll catch up with people you have not seen, find unique gifts for your loved ones…and create positive lasting change that goes beyond one shopping trip.