Friday, November 23, 2012

Some Local Businesses Push for 'Shop Small Saturday' in Cache and Carbon counties

Jessica McWhinnie is one of a handful of local business owners in Cache county who are participating in the “Shop Small Saturday” initiative Saturday — the day after Black Friday.

The initiative is meant to support local businesses and the economy by taking the focus off of large retail chains. Some participating businesses, like the Persian Peacock, will be closed Thanksgiving and Black Friday, but not every local store is choosing to do so.

The Spirit Goat, located on Federal Avenue, will be open Black Friday — but with abbreviated hours.

“It’s really hard for a small business to compete with the big box stores” on Black Friday, said Becky Yeager, owner of Spirit Goat, an artisan soaps and lotions shop . “We’re new, so we don’t really know what to expect; it may not be our best day, but we understand. So (Shop Small Saturday) is an opportunity to get customers in.”

Participating businesses will donate a portion of Saturday’s proceeds to the Cache Community Food Pantry. In addition, anyone who brings in a non-perishable food donation to any of the participating stores will receive a discount on top of the “Shop Small Saturday” discounts.

Shop Small Saturday is an offshoot of events supported by Local First Utah, a not-for-profit organization. According to its website, Local First Utah is open to all Utah businesses that are at least 51 percent locally owned and make their business decisions independently.

McWhinnie cited a research study by Civic Economics, an economic development strategic planning consultancy, which shows that locally owned retailers return 52 percent of their revenues to the local economy, while national chain retailers return just 14 percent of revenues. That means that for every dollar spent at a locally owned, independent businesses return “almost four times more to the local economy than a dollar spent at a national chain retailer,” the study states.

In addition, local businesses donate to local community causes “at twice the rate” of chains, according to the study. Herald Journal

Many of the smaller shops in the Carbon County area are going to having their own promotional sales on Small Business Saturday this week.

This will be the third year for the event, which began when American Express came up with the idea in 2010. It was designed to get people to recognize how important it is to support the independent retailers in their communities. Sun Advocate