By JOHN KLINE firstname.lastname@example.org
---- — GOSHEN — Tis the season for holiday shopping, and this Saturday it was all about buying local as shoppers converged on downtown Goshen to participate in the fourth annual Small Business Saturday event.
Created by American Express in 2010, Small Business Saturday is a day dedicated to supporting small businesses nationwide.
According to the Goshen Chamber of Commerce, which officially announced its endorsement of the event earlier this month, Small Business Saturday takes place annually on the first Saturday after Thanksgiving and has provided small businesses across the country with a huge boost in sales since its inception four years ago.
“We love Small Business Saturday, and we are proud to support it,” said Chamber President David Daugherty in a recent statement. “Not only do we want to shop small businesses in Goshen, we want to remind everyone to always Shop Goshen first!”
Over at Jules Boutique, 130 S. Main St., store employee Staci Smith was keeping busy with a healthy crowd during Saturday’s event.
“It’s just a great day,” Smith said of the event. “It’s all about getting people to support local businesses, shop small, and support their local town and community.”
As part of its participation in the event, Jules Boutique offered 20 percent off all items in the store in an effort to reward customers for turning out to support Small Business Saturday.
“To me, it’s really important for people to support their local small businesses because this is what keeps the community going and what makes us special,” Smith said of her support for the event. “I think this is a great downtown, and without these businesses being here, it wouldn’t be what it is today.”
Betsy Poling, a Goshen resident taking advantage of some of the sales at Jules Boutique Saturday, couldn’t have agreed more.
“I love our downtown here in Goshen,” Poling said. “The town where I grew up, there’s hardly anything downtown, and it’s depressing. So it makes me so happy that I live in a place that has such a vibrant downtown, so I try to do what I can to support it.”
Justin Bell, an employee at The Nut Shoppe, 204 S. Main St., said his company has been participating in the annual event since it started in 2010.
“Small business is the backbone of America,” Bell said. “Most small business owners also shop locally too, so it’s all tied together and helps to keep the community strong.”
For Brad Weirich, store manager of Better World Books, 215 S. Main St., Small Business Saturday is also the perfect chance for local shoppers to discover some of the amazing small businesses in their communities that they may not otherwise have been aware of.
“Small Business Saturday is a great chance to remind people that you can get some really high quality stuff at your local small businesses that you can’t always get at some of those bigger box stores,” Weirich said.
As for why he chooses to continue throwing his support behind the Small Business Saturday event, Weirich said it really comes down to three main reasons.
“The first reason is really economic, because when you support your local businesses, your money stays local, and it’s just better for the local economy,” Weirich said. “Then also, I think the quality of the products you get from small businesses tend to be much, much higher. And then there’s the fact that when it’s your neighbors you’re supporting, these people who live and work beside you in these small, local businesses, it just feels better overall to support those people and those companies. So I’m all for it.”