Springfield merchants: Small Business Saturday showcases benefits of buying local

$68 of every $100 spent remains in the community, business leader notes.

Black Friday still gets most of the attention, but Small Business Saturday is outgrowing the first part of its name as the event enters its 13th year. Several Springfield community businesses will be joining in and invite the community to celebrate.

Small Business Saturday, which occurs the Saturday after Thanksgiving, encourages people to discover and support independent and locally-owned businesses. With several new businesses having opened in downtown Springfield in 2022 and others that opened the past few years, it’s a chance to see what they offer, take advantage of specials and take in the holiday spirit with the decorations and atmosphere for Holiday in the City, which opens today.

Chris Schutte, vice-president, destination marketing + communications for the Greater Springfield Partnership, said Saturday will be one of the best times to see what’s offered.

“Most people don’t realize all the shopping options Greater Springfield offers, from big box to small boutiques with unique goods, we have a wide range of choices to satisfy anyone on your gift-giving list,” he said.

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Cyclotherapy, located at 40 W. High St., has offered bicycle sales, service and rentals since opening in spring 2020, and this will be the first significant time it has taken advantage of the holiday season. Co-owner Jon Francis said he still gets people who didn’t know they were here, so he welcomes the foot traffic of occasions such as Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Holiday in the City.

“It’s great to have that many people come downtown and get as many in our store as we can,” he said.

Francis also credits new businesses opening such as Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop that bring people downtown out of curiosity and then can discover what other businesses surround it. Cyclotherapy will offer discounts on select items today and Saturday.

Schutte said there are other benefits beyond supporting area businesses including when someone chooses to shop local that $68 of every $100 spent remains in the community.

“By buying local, you help create jobs for your friends and neighbors, contribute to improved public infrastructure and invest in your community both socially and economically,” he said.

Reggie Troutman, director of the Springfield Small Business Development Center’s (SBDC) community navigator program, has seen several new businesses open in 2022 and agrees the holiday season is a good time to shop with them.

“Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy, and Small Business Saturday is an opportunity to go to these other areas instead of the big box stores,” he said.

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Troutman said people are getting out again after limits of the pandemic and several new small businesses are set to open in the first quarter of 2023. He said the SBDC is available to help with aspiring or current businesses to flourish here.

Small Business Saturday also offers opportunities to shop and not miss out on the Ohio State-Michigan game, which starts at noon. Visit Greater Springfield’s Ashten Houseman said Mother Stewart’s Brewing Co., Station One and COHatch — all within walking distance of the downtown shops and vendors — will be showing the game and patrons can grab a DORA cup during the shop local experience.

While some people may be out of town for the Thanksgiving holiday or staying in to watch the game, there will be plenty of other opportunities to shop these merchants throughout the holiday season.

Some downtown merchants will have extended hours today when Holiday in the City opens with the ice rink taking its first customers at 5 p.m. and the lighting of the holiday tree between 6:30-7 p.m. Visitors can make an evening of it, checking out the holiday lights, strolling, dining and shopping.

Another unique chance will be the first Downtown Springfield Open House, noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 4. It will include 15 downtown businesses that will offer specials, discounts, gift-giving ideas, activities and more. There will also be photo opportunities with Santa.

Schutte hopes these types of events could lead to shopping with such merchants and vendors throughout the year.

For more information on Holiday in the City activities, go to www.facebook.com/holidayinthecityspfld/.

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