Park City wants shoppers spending at small businesses | ParkRecord.com

Park City wants shoppers spending at small businesses

Jay Hamburger THE PARK RECORD

Park City leaders want holiday shoppers to spend some of their money at small businesses on Saturday.

Mayor Jack Thomas and the Park City Council at a recent meeting endorsed a national promotion known as Small Business Saturday. The day is Saturday, Nov. 28, the day after the Black Friday traditional start of the holiday shopping season. The City Council adopted a resolution in support of Small Business Saturday on a 4-0 vote with Cindy Matsumoto absent.

American Express created Small Business Saturday in 2010. It is designed to encourage people to shop at places that are generally locally owned. An estimated $14.3 billion was spent in 2014 at small businesses on the promotion day, according to the credit card issuer.

Many places in Park City fall into the category of small businesses. There are numerous independently owned shops, boutiques and galleries inside the city limits, stretching from Main Street to the mountain resorts and to commercial districts like Bonanza Park and Prospector.

The City Hall resolution declaring Small Business Saturday in Park City notes that small businesses generate 54 percent of sales in the country and account for nearly half of the private sector’s gross domestic product. The resolution also provides statistics that overwhelmingly show consumers see small businesses as important.

“Park City, Utah, supports our local businesses that create jobs, boost our local economy and preserve our neighborhoods,” the resolution says.

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It also says: “We urge the residents of our community, and communities across the country, to support small businesses and merchants on Small Business Saturday throughout the year.”

A City Hall staff report submitted to the elected officials in anticipation of the recent meeting notes the importance of small businesses. The report calls small businesses “the lifeblood of our city.”

“The hard work and ingenuity of our small business men and woman are helping to sustain our economic strength, vitality and authenticity,” the report says. “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 Historic Park City Alliance, a group that represents the interests of businesses on or close to Main Street, supports the Small Business Saturday efforts. The executive director of the group, Alison Butz, said small businesses are especially important since money spent in them typically stay in the community since so many are locally owned. Butz said nearly all of the businesses on Main Street are locally owned.

Butz said the ownership makeup in Prospector is similar. She also has a leadership role in a group that represents businesses in Prospector.

Butz said growth in small businesses in Park City has included more places selling women’s apparel and additional gift shops.

She said Main Street businesses hope for a busy Saturday as holiday festivities are held, including the lighting of a Christmas tree at Miners Park, the flip of the switch on the Christmas lights on Main Street and an electric parade.

“I do think there are people who purposely shop at small businesses on Saturday,” Butz said.