Sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, is Small Business Saturday, a time for local mom and pop shops get a piece of the holiday shopping pie.
The Main street-focused shopping day encourages customers to support independent retailers and restaurants during the busiest shopping season of the year.
You might pay a little more than you would at a big-box retailer, but you’re getting something more unique.
“Everything in this store is made in the U.S., and a lot of it is made locally in Wisconsin,” says Natasha Loos, co-owner of Cedarburg Toy Co. “And when you come in our store, you get the personal attention you deserve.”
Shopper Jill Stencel shops local for the “higher quality items, and personal attention.”
“When you shop local, you get help on what to buy. You can ask questions. There’s better customer service. It’s a more interactive process,” Stencel said.
“Earlier today, my son was playing with the toy we bought him here last year,” says shopper, Jen Beam, who decided to come back this year. “He loves it. These local stores provide a more special experience and product.”
And when you pay for something special at a small business, you’re paying success forward.
“It’s the concept of keeping your money here,” Loos says. “It keeps your neighbors employed. It helps keep everybody’s quality of life at a higher level. I use the money I make to support other local businesses — down to my business cards, bags and labels.”
“We understand that people need to stretch a buck,” adds Tammi Strause, the owner of The Pink Llama Gallery in Cedarburg. “I shop at some of the chain stores too. But it’s so beneficial to try and shop local when you can. It’s important to have strong downtowns and Main streets.”
Strause sells the work of local artists in her gallery, which she opened three years ago. She’s hoping for strong sales on Small Business Saturday.
“It’s hard being a small business owner,” she says. “The money I make goes to my family and community, not shareholders. We need to carry the profits from this weekend into next year, because the winter months are harsh on business.”