Merchants give thanks for Small Business Saturday
November 18, 2016
Shoppers throughout Summit County are likely to flood into big-box retailers, battling crowds and sleep deprivation, on Black Friday in the annual scramble for a handful of good deals.
But small businesses in the area hope to deliver one message to shoppers before they empty their bank accounts on 55-inch flat screen TVs and discounted iPads: Don't forget about us.
Small merchants are hoping to see a lot of Parkites the day after Black Friday, on Small Business Saturday, which in recent years has become a celebration of buying local. Originally started by American Express in 2010 as a way to incentivize shoppers to patronize small businesses, the day has morphed into something retailers in Park City rely on to kick off the winter shopping season.
Katie Hammond, who owns Cake Boutique and c|two by cake, said the day is crucial because it reminds people how important it is to buy local — put simply, Park City merchants couldn't survive without the support of Parkites.
"Obviously, Thanksgiving weekend is a good selling weekend for us," she said. "People are really in holiday mode. But I think more important than that, it's really about the spirit of buying small. It's twofold: The more dollars spent in the community, the more dollars the community has. But people also find that department stores have really watered-down offerings. I think that they're pleasantly surprised when they shop on Main Street. It's not a concession to be shopping small — it turns out that it's ideal."
Emily White, who opened Wish, a boutique party and décor store in Redstone, this spring, said she had heard about Small Business Saturday in previous years. But having a business of her own has opened her eyes to just how important it is to foster an atmosphere of shopping local.
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She said she does her best to offer goods that customers can't easily get anywhere else, and she hopes that attitude resonates with Parkites.
"I don't want our stuff to be found on Amazon," she said. "I don't want you to be able to find it in another store. I want it to be unique. I hope that locals support that idea as well."
Hammond, who has participated in Small Business Saturday for years, said the event continues to gain steam. Now, many shoppers come in that day because of the event, and businesses all over Park City have come to expect big crowds. She anticipates this year will be no different.
"The name recognition continues to grow," she said. "… It's kind of your one guaranteed good weekend in November."
For more information on Small Business Saturday, visit historicparkcityutah.com.
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