Black Friday shopping; going into Small Business Saturday

An employee at Maggie & Me assists two customers inside the store on Black Friday. While Black Friday shopping is very popular; many wait until Saturday for Small Business Saturday.

CIRCLEVILLE — Small Business Saturday was first observed in 2010. Now nine years later, the tradition continues for Circleville and Pickaway County’s small businesses.

Keith Dumm, co-owner of Something Different, said it was steady Friday morning but Saturday is when things really take off.

“We’re always busier on Small Business Saturday than Black Friday,” Dumm told The Circleville Herald. “Traffic has been way better than normal today but it’s not what you’re hoping for. This is the day typically where people go to the big box stores and electronics. We try to find a whole bunch of specials to make it worth people’s while.”

Dumm said they’re offering sales to customers throughout the weekend.

“We try to have something for everybody,” he added.

Becky Mancini, owner of Maggie & Me, made it a party, serving mimosas and brownies while customers shopped. They even opened early on Black Friday with some “door buster sales” and will repeat again for Small Business Saturday.

“We had a wonderful bit of door buster fun and that was great,” Mancini said. “A few women came out before they went out into the rest of their day. Women like shopping local. They don’t want to head out on the highway or go too far. It’s a real hometown holiday weekend.”

Mancini echoed what Dumm said about business on Friday and Saturday this week. They plan to have early specials to draw in crowds before the Ohio State versus Michigan football game.

“There’s a really big promotion with both but people feel that Small Business Saturday gets that extra push to come downtown and support the small stores,” Mancini continued. “Today we’ve been steady and tomorrow will be too. I think with the Ohio State versus Michigan game at noon it could make it be more normal like today.”

Patty Barthelmas, manager at Sharff’s, said it has been steady all day Friday and they appreciated the customers that came to visit.

“Saturday is absolutely a bigger day,” Barthelmas said. “We’ll be open 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. tomorrow. We have a lot of men and women Ohio State clothing so we’re hoping some people will come in before the game to get geared up.”

Small Business Saturday was started as a counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday in an effort to draw shoppers into smaller stores like the ones that operate in many of the Pickaway County communities. It was created by American Express and adopted by many business and government leaders across the nation to promote their downtown shopping areas.

The goal of Small Business Saturday is to remind consumers that they play a key role in helping the small businesses in their community thrive, and encourage them to get out and shop and dine at local businesses.

In 2011, the Senate unanimously passed a resolution in support of the day, and officials in all 50 states now participate in Small Business Saturday. Over the years, Small Business Saturday spending has reached a reported estimate of $103 billion since the day it began in 2010.

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