Small Business Saturday will be taking place on November 28 and, this year, in the midst of a pandemic, it may be more important than ever.
Small Business Saturday, usually held in late November, is a day where communities can come together to shop locally and support local businesses. It’s a day to celebrate local businesses and all they do for their communities.
“I think small, independently owned businesses, you know, they have a positive social, economic and environmental impact and they are essential to every community,” said Mayor Larry Antoskiewicz.
Small businesses offer a level of support to their cities year-round as well as providing a sense of community. A resident can often walk into a local business and see familiar faces, be greeted and served by other community members, and can find unique items, good food and more that you may not find at a big chain, a busy mall, etc.
A local business can offer a sense of warmth to customers, unique goods and can often incorporate important things related to the local community. Fliers promoting upcoming events may be found on store windows or near the cash register, local history may be found on menus, photos of local sports teams may be seen on the walls.
Small Business Saturday encourages local residents to return the favor by eating and shopping locally to support these businesses in return and, this year, with so many businesses struggling because of COVID, stepping up to support these businesses may be critical.
“I think everybody is still concerned; you know. I believe most of them have at least made it through the first wave which is good but I think everybody is concerned, you know, about what’s going to be happening down the road. There are a lot of them that made a lot of tough decisions, they’ve made a lot of changes in the way they are doing business right now and they’re hoping that hopefully, they’ll be able to return to normal operations,” said Antoskiewicz. “Right now, they’re all doing what they have to do to continue to stay open … It’s just a tough time. As a city, we will always try to help; we will always try to do what we can.”
He shared that the city has worked to use technology and media, such as Facebook, to promote businesses and their events as well as trying to be involved in local businesses.
“Hopefully, people realize how important it is to have small businesses in your community. They’re not only, a lot of times, the heart of the community, but they bring a special feeling to the community,” said Antoskiewicz.
A lot of local business owners are also local residents who chose to make the community their place of business as well their home. They sponsor local sports teams, often help out the schools, participate in fundraisers, support local events and more.
“That’s what a lot of small businesses are, I guess. They’re really invested in the community,” said Antoskiewicz. “I’d rather stay in the city and do a little bit of shopping rather than go out to the big malls where it gets real crowded and everything.”
Contributing Writer