OHIO VALLEY — Black Friday and Cyber Monday may get all the attention nationally, but it is that shopping day which falls in between that can be the most important in small communities.
Small Business Saturday celebrates its 10th year this Saturday, encouraging people to support small businesses and “Shop Local,” keeping the money from the holiday shopping season in their own communities.
Find that perfect piece of jewelry at Clark’s Jewelry store in Pomeroy or Golddigger’s Jewelry in Ripley, a new pair of boots at Front Paige Outfitters, or that last minute holiday decor item at Weaving Stitches in Pomeroy.
Shopping local is a way of supporting the local economy as well as friends and neighbors, who inturn give back to their communities.
“Supporting local businesses means you’re contributing to your local economy. A thriving economy helps to create more jobs and opportunities for growth,” said Front Paige Outfitters owner Paige Cleek.
It is the local businesses who give back to their communities throughout the year and this holiday shopping season is a chance to show those businesses that you appreciate their support.
From involvement in school programs, youth leagues and non-profit organizations, to helping to make downtown areas more attractive and welcoming, small businesses, their owners and employees are at the heart of the communities.
“As small business owners we choose to use our time, energy and resources to promote our communities,” said Cleek. “All we ask in return is for you to support us by shopping and dining locally and utilizing our services. We’re successful when we all work together.”
Speaking with Eastern Middle School students on Monday during a career fair, Meigs Chamber and Tourism Executive Director Shelly Combs had the opportunity to talk about the importance of Small Business Saturday and shopping local.
“We discussed Small Business Saturday coming up this week and why it’s important to shop at our local businesses not just on this day, but every day. I asked them, ‘Whose names are on the backs of your ball shirts and the banners surrounding your ball fields? Who buys your animals at the fair every year?’ It’s important for them to understand at a young age just how crucial local business is to our economy. Business owners have a vested interest in our community’s well-being,” said Combs.
Combs added, “Small business owners and residents really do need each other. When local residents shop at small businesses, their tax dollars stay within the local economy, which in turn, improves the economic health of our community.”
So whether you are looking for that perfect Christmas gift for someone special or a little something for yourself, take a stroll through Pomeroy, Middleport, Gallipolis, Point Pleasant or any of the other towns along the way and you may just find what you are looking for.
Mason County has seen growing businesses, including in downtown Point Pleasant which recently celebrated a successful kickoff to the shopping season with its sold-out Sugar Plum Stroll. Many downtown merchants are once again hosting sales this Saturday as shoppers take in the new decorations purchased by the City of Point Pleasant for Main Street.
“Saturday, November 30th is Small Business Saturday across this great country and once again I am asking that we bring more holiday shopping to our local merchants throughout the city,” Point Pleasant Mayor Brian Billings said. “Small Business Saturday, has reached its tenth year and has had a positive impact on our entire community. Our local businesses, mostly owned by our very neighbors, deserve our support now and throughout the year. Our local businesses have helped us in supporting our schools, events and causes for our historic city. It is paramount to remember the importance of shopping with our local businesses this Saturday and in the future.”
Gallia County merchants are also preparing for Small Business Saturday as well, with a growing downtown Gallipolis currently anticipating an onslaught of visitors who arrive each holiday season for Gallipolis in Lights, and small businesses across the county offering unique services and those one-of-a-kind gifts.
“Small businesses are important, especially in small towns,” Gallia Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Elisha Orsbon said. “While the risks are greater, so can be the rewards. Small businesses keep money close to home, supporting their communities and its initiatives. Our small businesses are places for people to gather, learn, and grow. Gallia has been a thriving, small business hub. Multiple new businesses have been created from shared thoughts, values and locations, from one entrepreneur to another. Businesses have and will continue to achieve success because they work together and support each other, rather than trying to be exclusive in what they provide.”
In addition to Small Business Saturday, shoppers in Pomeroy will be able to enjoy some extra shopping time at many businesses on Sunday, Dec. 1 as part of the Pomeroy Christmas parade and activities.
For more details on some of the special sales and events are local small businesses see inside today’s print edition.