OHIO VALLEY — The Saturday following Thanksgiving has become one of the most important shopping days of the year, particularly in small towns such as those in our region.
Small Business Saturday launched 11 years ago by American Express to encourage people to support small businesses and “Shop Local.”
Sandwiched between the traditional shopping days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday is a favorite among local shops and shoppers, as well as being an important part of the local economy.
Shops such as Clark’s Jewelry, Front Paige Outfitters and The Fabric Shop in Pomeroy have been preparing for the day with special sales and promotions planned for the day.
Local crafters and artisans will also be taking part in Small Business Saturday during the Meigs County Trade Days Craft Bazaar on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Meigs County Fairgrounds. The event includes free admission and parking.
Particularly during what has been a difficult year with COVID-19 restrictions and shutdowns, it is more important than ever to support local stores.
“Shopping local is always important, but right now it’s absolutely crucial for us to support our small businesses. I think our community already does an outstanding job with this but we can all take it one step further and inspire someone else to shop local too,” said Meigs Chamber and Tourism Executive Director Shelly Combs.
While in-person shopping may not be ideal for everyone right now given the pandemic, there are other ways to support your favorite local business.
“Even if you can’t get out to shop in person, you can purchase gift cards or shop online. You can like a business’ Facebook page and share their posts. It’s easy to promote the places you love to shop locally. It takes you to start a trend. Shop small. Shop local. Eat local. Spend local. Enjoy local,” added Combs.
Supporting local businesses helps not only the business, their owners and employees, but local funding through sales tax revenue.
”Shopping local is the key to a stable local economy. Even through the COVID-19 pandemic we have seen record setting sales tax collections. While most counties in the state are losing revenue and seeing layoffs causing disruptions in county services, shopping local has clearly prevented that in Meigs County,” stated Meigs County Commissioner Randy Smith.
”We have great local shops and businesses and even better owners who are there to support our community, youth leagues, and charities each time they are called on. Its a partnership and our role in that is to support them as they support us,” concluded Smith.
The City of Point Pleasant has seen several new businesses emerge in Point Pleasant, particularly downtown, filling once empty storefronts on Main Street. The historic city offers stores with unique gifts and promotions.
“This Christmas season may look a little different, but we can still share the joy, shop small and support our city businesses,” Point Pleasant Mayor Brian Billings said. “Small businesses are the core of every successful city across this great country. You and I need to support our area merchants not only throughout the year but now. This has been an unusual time for all of us, but our local merchants have had a rough time as well. These wonderful store owners regardless where they are located in our historic city are counting on us. What would we do without them! Let’s get behind our local small businesses on Saturday, November 28th and encourage all consumers to shop locally now and in the future!”
In addition to Small Business Saturday, the Main Street Merchants are sponsoring “Christmas on Main” on Saturday, Dec. 5, from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. The merchants will not be hosting the annual Sugar Plum Stroll this year due to the pandemic but planned “Christmas on Main” as an alternative event, taking into account safety guidelines related to COVID-19 concerns.
During Christmas on Main, participants will have a type of map of the stores on Main Street. Each spot will be stamped after visiting the respective store. Completed cards will be entered into a drawing. To participate, cards will be available in stores along Main Street and also in the Point Pleasant Register on Dec. 3.
“The drawing is the main thing and we’re going to draw a $500, $250 and $100 gift certificate good to one of the participating stores,” Business owner Stan Bordman said.
Gallia County also continues to grow its small business scene as well, allowing shoppers to fill their Christmas lists, grocery lists and dinner requests at a variety of stores and restaurants.
Gallipolis has the added attraction of Gallipolis In Lights at City Park in the downtown shopping district and the “Light up the Town” decorating event taking place both in town and throughout the county, with incentives for homeowners to decorate for the holidays. “Light up the Town” is being organized by the Gallipolis Junior Women’s Club with support from local businesses. More on this decorating event in an upcoming edition.
“Small businesses create a major economic impact,” Elisha Orsbon, executive director, Gallia County Chamber of Commerce, said. “Imagine our town or local area without any of its small, local businesses. What would be left? Remember this when shopping this holiday season, and always.”
© 2020 Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.
Beth Sergent is editor of Ohio Valley Publishing. Sarah Hawley is managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.