Park City applauds small businesses as holiday shopping season arrives
Big money could be spent at Park City’s small businesses on Saturday.
The city will join others across the U.S. in marking Small Business Saturday on the day after Black Friday, the traditional start of the holiday shopping season and long one of the most important days for retailers. Small Business Saturday is designed to encourage people to shop in locally owned shops rather than large chains. There are numerous Park City businesses that are considered to be small, stretching outward from Main Street toward places like the Prospector commercial district and Bonanza Park.
The Small Business Saturday promotion, organized by American Express in 2010 as the economy continued to suffer from the effects of the recession, is seen as an effort to attract customers early in the holiday shopping season. Sales in Park City are not as dependent on the holidays as elsewhere since so much business occurs during the key January-to-March stretch of the ski season. Stores, boutiques and galleries, though, see the holidays as important nonetheless since they generate revenues prior to the start of the busiest parts of the ski season.
The Park City Council at a recent meeting adopted a resolution designating Small Business Saturday on Nov. 24. The elected officials have adopted a similar resolution before. The resolution says City Hall “celebrates our local small businesses and the contributions they make to our local economy and community.”
The resolution describes the importance of small businesses in creating employment opportunities. It provides data from the U.S. Small Business Administration describing the 30.2 million small businesses in the country as representing 99.7 percent of the businesses in the U.S. that have employees. It also says small businesses created 65.9 percent of new jobs, on a net basis, between 2000 and 2017.
“By proclaiming Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018 Small Business Saturday, Park City will be joining in a nationwide effort to steer shoppers toward local independently-owned businesses during the holiday season and urge the residents of our community and communities across the country to support small businesses and merchants throughout the year,” a City Hall report drafted in anticipation of the adoption of the resolution says.
The report also says: “The hard work and ingenuity of our small businesses men and women are helping to sustain our economic strength, vitality and authenticity. Small Business Saturday recognizes and celebrates our many outstanding small business owners and employees for their unique contributions to the Park City economy and for their entrepreneurial spirit.”
The Prospector commercial district houses numerous small businesses, drawn by the proximity to neighborhoods and lease rates well below those along Main Street. The Prospector Square Property Owners Association does not plan a promotion for Small Business Saturday, but a member of the leadership described the importance of small businesses in Park City. Dean Berrett, who has long had an ownership interest in commercial properties in Prospector, noted the employment opportunities created by small businesses.
“Prospector Square’s heartbeat is, really, small businesses,” Berrett said.
He said the businesses attract people who live in Park City as well as people visiting the community. The owners of small businesses, Berrett said, display an entrepreneurial spirit and have a desire to be a boss.
“A lot of us opened our businesses after working for large businesses,” he said.
The Park City Planning Commission on Wednesday approved a City Hall workforce or otherwise restricted housing development slated for the northern reaches of Old Town.