NEWBERRY COUNTY — In 2010, in an effort to support local businesses, American Express launched Small Business Saturday, on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Their hope was that this would bring more holiday shopping to small businesses.
According to americanexpress.com, an estimated $15.5 billion dollars was generated on Small Business Saturday in 2016. The website further states there are 395,068 small businesses in operation in South Carolina. In other words, there are plenty of businesses to be supported this Saturday.
The Newberry County Chamber of Commerce is encouraging all local businesses to participate on Saturday and open their doors to potential customers.
“With Black Friday being so big, it is really difficult for small businesses to compete with your big-box stores and your malls. So it is important to promote Shop Small Saturday so people can support your local businesses,” said Michelle Long, executive director of the Chamber. “We take it for granted that everybody just knows what Newberry has to offer.”
Liz MacDonald, administrator at the Chamber, added that Newberry has so much unique merchandise to offer. She said you can find personalized purses, unique jewelry, local art and unique gifts for children. These items can be found throughout the county, from Whitmire to Little Mountain and everything in-between.
“We are always happy if somebody is not sure where to find it, call us and if we do not know we will find out,” Long said.
To promote Small Business Saturday, the Chamber has been spreading the word through their newsletter, local media, social media and giving out goodies to small businesses.
“We have a lot of different items to give out this year, we have doormats, shopping bags, balloons, pens, little hats for kids, magnets and a few other items,” Long said.
When it comes to people shopping this Saturday, Long said it is all about strength in numbers. She said if shoppers have a multitude of places they can shop, they will be more eager to come to town.
“If I wanna drive over there for just one shop, I am going to wander through everything that is opened, and if there is a lot of stuff opened, even better,” she said. “A visitor might not make a sale right now, but a future sale. They may not be interested in what you have, but they may know someone who would be.”
Local businesses are also gearing up for Small Business Saturday. Paul Ringer, of The Gallery (Newberry), said they plan to be open not only because they are a small business, but because they want to support other small businesses.
“We usually do great, it is usually a pretty big day. Everybody that comes out on Small Business Saturday, number one they want to support local businesses and number two we have sales,” he said.
In Whitmire, Sissy’s Boutique co-owner Alene Watts said that getting the community involved in Small Business Saturday is a fun way to bring small businesses together.
“By shopping small businesses, revenue stays in our community,” said Mary Ellen Page, Sissy’s Boutique co-owner.
Glenn Hamm, owner of Poseidon Supplies and Equipment, in Prosperity, said a customer who shops with local small businesses can expect customer service and unique products that cannot be found with big-box retailers.
“Additionally, shopping with your local small businesses is an investment into your community and the overall financial success for American Business, as small businesses, overall, make up 78% of new jobs and 64% of the total U.S. GDP. When choosing small business one does not necessarily choose to pay higher prices as small retailers often have room and will haggle whereas larger corporations cannot and will not,” he said.
Reach Andrew Wigger at 803-276-0625 ext. 1867 or on Twitter @ TheNBOnews.