Today is small business Saturday, a day local shops depend on. After all of the doorbuster deals at the big stores on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday is the one day of the year dedicated to encouraging the community to shop small.
One local entrepreneur asking the community to spend locally but also give back at the same time.
"So far its been fabulous. Lots of activity going on in the building, lots of shoppers coming in. We've been very happy so far," Grovijahn said.
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LaRese Purnell is the founder of the non-profit 'The Real Black Friday,' and has been supporting small black businesses for more than five years. Black business owners are a group that's been unrepresented for decades. One in 5 black-owned businesses closes within the first year of opening due to a lack of resources, which is why Purnell gives them financial and marketing tools, branding advice and more.
Today he's asking Northeast Ohio to give back by participating with a toy drive. Ten businesses will be collecting toys for kids staying at local homeless shelters. Purnell says the idea came from his own personal experience and that's why he wants to encourage others to give back.
“Growing up I actually experienced being homeless and I remember standing in line waiting to get a free coat, waiting to get a toy and in some cases and some years that was the only toy I got," he said.
Our tradition is to come into Stillwater and do a little shopping for everybody. It’s such a great town, and all the people are so friendly, it’s a lot of fun it’s a great way to kick off the Christmas holidays, Beboer said. I think it’s very important. There’s a lot of big box chains and Amazon, of course trying to take over the world, but it’s the small mom-and-pop shops that are really crucial to the economy.
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BELLEFONTE – Its Small Business Saturday, where everyone is encouraged to get out and support local businesses.
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On this day, millions of shoppers are shifting gears from Black Fridays mall fever to shop small, including those in Centre County.
Its a holiday shopping tradition. People get to explore the hidden gems in the downtown Bellefonte area, and the small businesses get the support they need.
“So, Small Business Saturday is super important, because its wedged in between two really internet-based holidays, Downtown Bellefonte Inc. board member Ellen Matis said. It gives small, locally-focused businesses the opportunity to reach (their) customers right in their community. “
At least 25 businesses throughout Bellefonte participated. Many residents say they know how crucial this day is for their city.
“Bellefonte has had some difficulties, but its to revitalize the downtown area, supporting those local (businesses), its vital,” Bellefonte resident Tom Betz said.
Small Business Saturday on the Saturday after Thanksgiving encourages people to shop small and bring more holiday shopping to small local businesses.
“Its always a great day for us, Confers Jewelers owner Monteca Confer Beisel said. A lot of people come out. Its been pretty busy considering the ice and rain out there.”
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Beisel says it can be tough being a small store in a small town, but when this day comes around, it makes a real impact.
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“It really helps people come into the store (for the) first time, and they really have embraced it,” Beisel said.
Without an event to remind residents of their local businesses, some owners say some of them wouldnt exist.
“And if people start shopping online and they dont support our local store, then whenever theres a need like that, we wont be here to fulfill it,” Beisel said.
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The store has been in town for 41 years. They say they do what they can to give their customers the best experience.
“Well offer you a mimosa or a water, a cup of coffee, a glass of wine… you come in and relax, look around, Beisel said. Were not high-pressured, so its a lot of fun.”