By Heather Regula, Correspondent
In 2010, American Express founded Small Business Saturday because local economies stay strong because of small businesses. When small businesses do well, we all do well. According to American Express, a small business is a local business with less than 500 employees. Adhering to that definition, there are approximately 2,600,000 small businesses in operation across Texas, and in 2014, 45 percent of all employees were working for a small company.
Small Business Saturday strategically takes place on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, to bring holiday shopping business to local businesses. Our economy was in a recession in 2010, and we all felt the negative impacts. In 2011, Congress passed a resolution in favor of Small Business Saturday, and all states were participating by 2012.
The ideas behind Small Business Saturday have caught on and spread – transforming the day from a valiant cause to rally behind local businesses, to a day of celebration – with each year being more successful than the one prior.
Small businesses in Belton joined in on the nationwide recognition of Small Business Saturday.
Brandi Reese is the owner of Mobi Dog Pet Salon and Spa, a Belton-based small business. Reese credits shopping local and shopping small as a great way to support local businesses while obtaining unique items that aren’t always available at large chain stores.
“Small Business Saturday is a great way for shoppers to meet small business owners on a more personal level,” explained Reese. “It gives the public a chance to visit local shops and try out specialty items at a discounted price. Today at Mobi Dog, we offered a Sip and Shop where we gave out hot chocolate and Christmas cookies while customers shopped for good deals. We ran some amazing sales such as buy one get one free on all frosted treats and pig ears and 50% off dog toys. It was a huge success. We noticed a lot of new people in the store who follow us on social media. A lot of regular customers brought friends and family in also. It was a great day!”
The Black Daisy, a boutique in Belton, is another small business that celebrated Small Business Saturday. All shoppers on Saturday were entered into a drawing for a one-year wardrobe giveaway. The lucky winner can pick one free item from the store each month.
“I chose to close for Black Friday because I wanted to emphasize the importance of Small Business Saturday. Not just because of the deals but because I wanted to emphasize the importance of supporting small business. I also wanted to focus on spending time with my family and wanted my staff to be able to do the same,” said Sthefanie Welch, owner of The Black Daisy. “We had crazy specials today! We had $10 doorbusters like leggings and beanies, a $10 rack, 50% off graphic tees, hourly discounts that started at 40% off for the entire store and moved down as the day went on. We also did a bunch of giveaways! We had a line out the door today; it was unlike any Saturday since we have been open. We are so humbled and grateful to have had such a successful Small Business Saturday!”
Small Business Saturday is an annual nationwide movement to keep money spent within our communities. The concept can be easily extended throughout the year, and our local businesses would be better for it.