Sandwiched in between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is Small Business Saturday, a holiday shopping initiative launched eight years ago for the benefit of small businesses by a major credit card company.
American Express unveiled the nationwide promotion in 2010, according to a news release, to encourage holiday shoppers to patronize small businesses in the wake of what was called “the great recession.”
The credit card company estimates that about 67 cents of every dollar spent at a local “mom and pop” store remains in the local community.
American Express’ study also found that over 80 percent of those surveyed planned to spend their yuletide dollars with a local merchant, either in person or through their website.
Hillsboro mayor Drew Hastings, who by his own admission has been a small business owner most of his life, whole heartedly encouraged shoppers to buy locally.
“Small businesses are vital to the success and survival of this community,” he said. “When you look at Amazon or the online purchases of the big box stores, it does our community no good whatsoever.”
He said that the growing trend of online shopping hurts communities like Hillsboro and Greenfield greatly, citing the fact that money being spent through a computer or smart phone is not being spent with a local small business.
“When you come right down to it, people can spend their money anywhere,” Janie Angles, the owner-operator of Janie’s Closet in Hillsboro, said. “We’re lucky in that we’re always busy on the day after Black Friday, and people will come through our door and tell us, ‘I’m here because I want to shop local.’”
She said that what makes people come to her store, not only during the holidays but throughout the year, is the feeling of a personal shopping experience and sense of community.
Janie’s Closet, according to Angles, had a great Thanksgiving night crowd with a packed store and familiar faces returning for holiday shopping.
“It’s more fun when you go local because people like to visit,” she said. “And so many of the people that we see are like old friends coming by just to sit down and visit, and you don’t get that going to Cincinnati or Dayton.”
For Robin Randall, the manager of the coffee shop at Holtfield Station, shopping locally is important to her because it allows people to support the community where they live.
She said that while there is place in shopper’s wallets and purses for stores like Amazon, shopping with a local merchant allows their business to grow, which in turn helps the community grow as well.
“We have so many people who come to the coffee shop every day and they own their own business,” she said. “And it’s awesome that they support us, and then we support them and together we make Hillsboro work.”
Randall wasn’t around when Ronald Reagan was president, but the 23-year-old businesswoman has a firm understanding of the concept he coined of “trickledown economics.”
“People will shop at Lori Magulac’s tire store or Chuck Wait because they know they’re both small town and great quality,” she said. “And both of them come in here all the time getting coffee and things, so you know where I’m going to go to get tires when I need them, and that’s why the sign out front says ‘shop local.’”
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.