Park City promotes Small Business Saturday, an alternate to corporate culture
One day after Black Friday and two days before Cyber Monday, shopping days that draw people to the nation’s largest retailers, there is a day set aside for shopping at places that are not as big.
Park City has joined a national effort to promote small businesses during the holiday shopping season, a category of stores that includes the overwhelming majority of shops in the community. The Park City Council at a recent meeting proclaimed Small Business Saturday on Nov. 30. It is a step the elected officials have taken in previous years as well but one that many could see as perhaps more than symbolic in a city where there have long been concerns about the corporate influence on the community.
The City Council approved the Small Business Saturday resolution on a 4-0 vote with City Councilor Steve Joyce not in attendance. Similar measures over the years were also not controversial. The resolution notes the municipal government’s support of locally owned businesses, which it says create employment opportunities, boost the Park City economy and preserve the community.
The elected officials in the resolution “urge the residents of our community, and communities across the country, to support small businesses and merchants on Small Business Saturday and throughout the year.”
American Express founded Small Business Saturday in 2010, as the effects of the recession continued to hurt sales. American Express says shoppers have indicated they spent upward of $103 billion on Small Business Saturday since its start.
The City Hall resolution notes the broad reach of small businesses, indicating there are 30.7 million of them in the country and they created more than six out of every 10 new jobs on a net basis between 2000 and 2018. It also says 47.3 percent of private-sector employees work for a small business.
Ninety-six percent of the people “who plan to shop on Small Business Saturday said the day inspires them to go to small, independently-owned retailers or restaurants that they have not been to before, or would not have otherwise tried.”
More than nine out of 10 places that plan some sort of Small Business Saturday promotion said “the day helps their business stand out during the busy holiday shopping season,” the resolution says.
A City Hall report prepared in anticipation of the recent meeting also touted the importance of small businesses in Park City, saying the resolution is an 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.”
“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our city, and we salute small business owners, entrepreneurs, and employees for enhancing our community and expanding opportunities for all the citizens of Park City and the surrounding communities. The hard work and ingenuity of our small business men and women are helping to sustain our economic strength, vitality and authenticity,” the report also says.
There has been concern in Park City about the growing influence of corporations on the community, including in the ski industry and the retail landscape. Many see the arrival of a corporate culture as something that diminishes Park City’s longtime independent streak and uniqueness.
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