“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.
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/.