Started three years ago by American Express, Small Business Saturday is intended to be a push for shoppers to patronize small, local businesses. In 2012, according to American Express’ website, consumer spending for Small Business Saturday approximated $5.5 billion.
With sales totals well into the billions across the nation, Downtown Development Authority Manager Tara Currier said more downtown Cartersville retailers are getting involved.
“Just in talking up Small Business Saturday this year to the businesses, I know there are several who even weren’t open last year that are planning to be open this year because, as they talk amongst themselves, you know that they heard how great it was last year and even the year before,” she said. “I believe there’s going to be even more participants this year than have been in the past.
“... Obviously every business in downtown Cartersville is a small business, and so I think while we harp all year long how important it is for folks to remember all the small businesses. But specifically those in downtown, I think this is a great thing American Express put together to just really remind people how important supporting local businesses is.”
Deborah Ballew, owner of Meg Pie on Church Street, said response from Small Business Saturday customers has been positive.
“That’s been the response that we have gotten. You know, even when I was down at the Olive Branch before we came to Meg Pie, that’s what the customers came in and [said] was their thing, ‘I want to shop local. I want to support local businesses,’” she said.
Currier highlighted the economic benefits of residents shopping at locally owned stores: a shop owner or an employee could spend their money at other area businesses and keep the dollars circulating on a local level.
“It really just is a full circle effect, when you support small business you’re supporting people in our community as much as you are the business,” Currier said. “I think it’s just so important that people know that, and, again, kudos to American Express for kind of creating all of these wonderful graphics and imagery that we can share and get out in front of the community.”
With attention increasingly focused on earlier opening times, longer lines and growing crowds at national retailers, Currier said the weekend after Thanksgiving was “no longer just the big box stores’ game.”
“It’s everybody has a piece in this puzzle, and if you’re willing to be open on that Saturday, what a great opportunity for all those families and friends who do love to get together — that thrill of shopping after the holidays and waking up early and doing their breakfast or whatever their fun traditions are — to make that Saturday after Thanksgiving the day they devote to supporting locally owned and operated businesses.”
For more information on Small Business Saturday, call the DDA at 770-607-3480 or visit www.facebook.com/SmallBusinessSaturday.