Local businesses set sights on Small Business Saturday

Holiday shopping continues as communities focus on supporting downtowns.

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Retail giants may dominate Black Friday sales, but the Saturday after Thanksgiving continues to be a day to focus on local, small businesses during the holiday shopping season.

“I think it’s important to have a vibrant small business community in any town, but especially here in Springfield,” said Matt Luther, owner of the Peanut Shoppe, which is located at 1576 E. Main St. in Springfield.

For businesses like the Peanut Shoppe, they have been a staple in the community for years, so Small Business Saturday gives locals another reason to visit a store they love.

“The store is a historical store in many ways because it’s been around Springfield for so long, so people like to support it because of that factor,” Luther said. “They’ve got history and memories of the store as a child with their parents and grandparents.”

Shopping locally boosts the local economy and provide jobs for people in the community, said Christopher Schutte, vice president of communications at the Greater Springfield Partnership.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our country’s economy,” Schutte said.

Nearly two out of three new jobs in the U.S. are at small businesses, which employ over half the nation’s workforce, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.

“Shopping locally generates $68 in local economic return for every $100 spent. And local small businesses donate 250% more than large businesses to local nonprofits and community causes, creating a positive cycle of giving back locally,” Schutte said.

Small businesses in Springfield also support the annual Holiday in the City events, which expose visitors to those local merchants.

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Small businesses rely on this time period of shopping to give them a boost going into the new year, another local business owner said.

“It’s the biggest shopping season of the year,” said Kathleen Hotmer, owner of Pink Moon Goods in Dayton. “...It helps us survive during some slower months.”

Pink Moon Goods, which is located at 2027 E. Fifth St. in Dayton, sells home goods and paper products.

U.S. consumers who shopped at independent retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday in 2022 spent an estimated $17.9 billion, according to a consumer insights survey from American Express.

Local, small businesses help make downtowns vibrant, Hotmer said, so Small Business Saturday gives people an opportunity to show support for the shops that make an area unique.

Supporting small businesses also means supporting local residents, the Downtown Dayton Partnership said.

“These are just people who are following their passion and starting their own businesses—and a lot of people that we just know from our community who have started their own businesses—so it really depends on the community to keep them going and keep them growing and help them be strong,” said Jessica Sands, marketing manager for the Downtown Dayton Partnership.

For some small businesses, Small Business Saturday is a way to introduce their shops to locals who may not know about them yet.

“I’ve only been open for six months, so I’m kind of hoping it’ll help anchor us in the community as a place to come shop,” said Ashley Wildermuth, owner of BA Bricks in Troy. BA Bricks, which is located at 224 S. Market St. in Suite B in Troy, sells a variety of Lego products, including new, wholesale items, and second-hand items.

“We’ve got everything from single pieces to mini figures, books, and storage for your Legos. There are Lego products for non-Lego builders,” Wildermuth said, adding there are Legos for boys, girls, children and adults hobbyists at BA Bricks.



Shoppers can also support artists, such as at the Art Shop at the Oxford Community Arts Center, which will be open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

“All of the artists in the shop are local artists who hand make all of the items in the shop,” said Heidi Schiller, executive director of the Oxford Community Arts Center, which is located at 10 S. College Ave. in Oxford.

The Art Shop features more than 290 items all made by artists in the Oxford area, Schiller said. Those items include music, pottery, fiber art, watercolor art, jewelry, and more.

“It’s a lot of different things where people can get some really unique gifts for the holidays and feel good about what they’re purchasing,” Schiller said.

Small Business Saturday is also about creating unique experiences for people exploring downtowns in their area. Downtown Middletown Inc. wants shoppers, including local residents along with regional visitors who may not visit the downtown often, to have a positive experience and want to come back, said Jeff Payne, executive director of Downtown Middletown Inc.

“This gives us an opportunity to help those businesses continue to thrive, grow, things like that, as well as the fact that most small businesses provide you a much more unique experience than say franchises,” Payne said.

Middletown is in its Very Merry Middletown season right now, said Kenzie Bruns, media coordinator for Downtown Middletown Inc. This includes its Holiday Hoopla ice skating rink and Light Up Middletown, which Bruns said is like a drive-through light festival.

“On Small Business Saturday, we’ve got our Santa parade that starts at 4 p.m. and shopping all day,” Bruns said. “The businesses have sent in their shopping specials in the downtown, and DMI will be out passing out shopping guides throughout the entire day leading up to the Santa parade.”

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