Retailers in Cambridge, Byesville and other locations in Guernsey and surrounding counties hope customers think of them on Small Business Saturday tomorrow to fill their shopping needs this holiday season.
Small Business Saturday was first observed in the United States 11 years ago as a way to promote shopping at small retailers instead of the big-box stores and online shopping, that is typically part of Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns.
“Small Business Saturday really helps by drawing attention to the small businesses locally, and any chance you get to highlight, showcase and draw attention to these small businesses helps everyone,” said Cambridge Area Chamber of Commerce President Jennifer Vincent.
“We appreciate the big box stores and we need them, but buying from the smaller stores helps support local families.”
Kayla Moore, co-owner of Homemade Happiness & Co. with her husband, Brian, agreed.
“When you shop small, you support our family so our daughter can go to volleyball camp and our son to basketball,” said Moore. “We also have 15 vendors and you are supporting their families.”
Homemade Happiness & Co. at 723 Wheeling Ave. in downtown Cambridge with its custom-built inventory that includes home decor items, crafts and antiques will be observing its first Small Business Saturday. The Moores opened their shop in September.
Another fan-favorite for Small Business Saturday could be Country Bits, with nearly 30 years of service to its customers at the corner of Wheeling Avenue and Seventh Street.
“The importance of shopping locally at small businesses is you get personal service while finding one-of-a-kind, homemade items,” said Country Bits owner Dee Kovacik. “They are items made in the USA and often by local crafters. Seventy-five percent of our inventory is handmade or made in the USA.”
For Cambridge Main Street Executive Director Mary Beth Sills, giving back is what an event like Small Business Saturday is about.
“The local businesses are the first people hit up for sponsorships and they are the first people to open their pockets and generously give,” said Sills. “They don’t live out of state or, in some cases, out of the country, but live and work in the communities they serve. Their tax dollars stay here locally.”
Sills also believes local businesses deserve a boost in the midst of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.
“I would encourage everyone to support the small businesses downtown this holiday season,” she said. “They were hit hard by COVID-19 and I would love to give them the best gift possible, a great Christmas season.”
A registered trademark of American Express, Small Business Saturday is always the last Saturday in November.
The first event created by American Express on Nov. 27, 2010, was a partnership with National Trust for Historic Preservation, Roslindale Village Main Street and Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino.
The Twitter hashtag #SmallBusinessSaturday has also existed since early 2010 and was used to promote small businesses on any Saturday.
Small business owners often market sales on Small Business Saturday to attract patrons. Some owners also extend store hours to capitalize on the increased foot traffic during the holiday shopping season.
Vincent believes Small Business Saturday combined with the Dickens Victorian Village and the Guernsey County Courthouse light show brings people to the downtown in Cambridge.
“These events help support our local businesses,” said Vincent. “The bus tours and groups from out of the area who shop downtown and eat at our restaurants downtown along with the shoppers helps those businesses tremendously.”