Support Small Business Saturday & Support Your Community
It’s beginning to look a lot like Small Business Saturday.
Local businesses are stocking up and bracing for the influx of customers who hit the malls and shopping centers on Black Friday, then head to the small stores the day after.
“It’s typically our busiest day of the year,” said Angie Payne, owner of Vintage Vibe, an eclectic store that sells everything from furniture to jewelry at 1585 E. Broad St. in Mansfield. “I think last year Black Friday beat Saturday, but it’s usually neck and neck.”
It wasn’t always this way.
“When I first bought the store, I was closed on Friday because I figured people were going to Kohl’s,” Payne said. “I was up here prepping for Saturday and I was opening the door all day.”
In historic downtown Mansfield, Andrea McMillin got together with other business owners for a day of events to bring in shoppers, including cocktails, visits with Santa, food trucks, drawings for gift baskets and a tree lighting to wind up the day.
“There’s something fun to do down here, there’s history,” said McMillin, owner of AndiMac Candy Shack at 122 N. Main St.
The difference between small locally owned businesses and large corporate stores is the personal service, Payne and McMillin agree.
“We know our customers and we care about them,” said McMillin, whose store sells old-fashioned candy, popcorn and chocolate liqueurs. A local individual person will open their store if you need something. They get to know you as a person. The big stores aren’t going to care that your daughter lost her tooth and gets a treat for being a big girl.”
Better Service, Better Selection
And by shopping local, customers aren’t just helping one store, they’re helping the community, McMillin said.
“You’re helping put their child in dance class, which helps that business,” she said. “When you need something for school, you don’t go to the big guys because they won’t donate. You go to the local businesses.”
Customers who show small businesses also get the good stuff, says Pam Comeau, who owns Sage Mansfield, a “store for mindful living” at 120 N. Walnut Creek Drive in Mansfield.
“We have a much better selection because we take the time to pick out things for our demographic,” Comeau said.
Comeau said she doesn’t know what to expect from Small Business Saturday since this will be her first. Her store opened in March. Sage Mansfield supports local vendors, too, carrying crystal bracelets made by a Mansfield girl, local honey, hand-roasted coffee, loose tea, crystals and sage.
“When you shop local, it keeps the money in the community,” Comeau said. “You’re buying from your friends.”