DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Small Business Saturday is usually a day reserved for supporting small businesses, but this year there’s a surge in support for locally-owned businesses on Black Friday.
A recent Visa survey found that 86% of American shoppers are planning to shop small this holiday season, and 60% of customers planning to do more than half of their shopping with local retailers.
Since March, small businesses have overcome so many obstacles to stay open despite the pandemic. And customers recognize that their dollars can have a bigger impact on a small business than a big box store.
“The big chains will last and small businesses won’t so we need that support,” said Tailor Curtis with Heart Mercantile in the Oregon District.
The Entrepreneurs Shoppe and Marketplace in Dayton offers a space for dozens of small businesses to sell their items in person. They had a Black Friday event that drew a crowd.
“It’s been challenging, but I will say being here [at the Entrepreneur’s Shoppe] has opened up a lot of opportunities,” said Erionne Lee, owner of EriTress Luxury Hair. “We’ve gotten to reach a lot more people than we would have if we were still in lockdown or at home.”
Some Friday shoppers say they found that shopping with smaller retailers offered a safer experience.
“I like that there aren’t bigger crowds. We don’t do a lot of shopping online so I’d rather come out but we can come out when its not crowded,” said Phyllis.
“You see the courteousness at small shops than you wouldn’t see at the big box stores where everyone is elbowing to get the better deals,” said Josh Sweeney who was shopping at the Oregon District.
Sweeney also said that shopping small offers him opportunities to buy more personalized gifts for loved ones.
“This is the holiday where you want to get something than more generic PS5,” he said.
But most people continue to shop small to support their community.
“You get to support your friends and people that you know, so I love shopping [at the Entrepreneurs Marketplace],” said Sharon Dugger.