During the early hours of Black Friday every year, one can watch the parking lots of major businesses like Wal-Mart fill to capacity and find scores of customers waiting to get their hands on the latest new thing for a reduced price.
During the early hours of Black Friday every year, one can watch the parking lots of major businesses like Wal-Mart fill to capacity and find scores of customers waiting to get their hands on the latest new thing for a reduced price. Small Business Saturday, first celebrated in 2010, is the holiday counterpart to Black Friday and encourages shoppers to search for deals at the local small businesses in their own hometowns. It is celebrated the Saturday after Thanksgiving, which is today. “We’re hoping this Small Business Saturday that people remember their local businesses,” said Jonna Corrigan, manager of The Cook’s Nook. Although Small Business Saturday has yet to cause the mad dash Black Friday creates, local business owners still think they have a niche in the holiday market. Local business owners say the small business environment provides some advantages over that of larger businesses. For one, there’s few crowds. Steve Mulch, owner of Guys N’ Gals said small businesses also can provide better customer service this time of year than bigger stores. “One young man came in after spending 30 minutes (at another store) trying to find some pants in his size.” Mulch said. “So he comes in here, gets some help, and he’s in and out of here in five minutes.” The answer to whether special shopping promotions like Black Friday or Small Business Saturday increase sales differs depending on who you ask. “It’s very unpredictable, especially with all the other sales going on around the nearby cities,” said Judy Anderson, designer for The Stone Chimney. However, Jerry Rogers, co-owner of The Well, said their business sees a significant sales increase this time of year. “People are looking for those gifty items around this time of year,” Rogers said. As to what makes others want to shop at local businesses, as opposed to larger chains, Rogers says it’s a focus on service and community that makes small businesses stand out. “A lot of us work on being community focused, and I think that’s what makes us stand out,” Rogers said. A list of local retailers can be found on the McPherson Chamber of Commerce’s website.