GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — It’s the busiest shopping weekend of the year with millions of people nationwide shopping for Black Friday deals, but Saturday was all about keeping it local.
Small Business Saturday draws thousands of people to ‘mom and pop’ stores each year.
For many small business owners, it’s the busiest day of the year.
“It’s been a very good day,” said Rosemary Ellis, co-owner of The Artist Studio. “We’ve had people in and out all day long. It’s been truly vibrant and very exciting.”
“It’s one of our busiest days of the year,” said Jill Devan, owner of Apothecary Off Main.
Store owners like Jill Devan say they’re noticing a trend as shopping local becomes a more popular choice for consumers.
“We’re trending to run over last year,” Devan said. “We have another hour and a half to go, but we’re beating last year. Year after year we have beat the year before so that’s been strong. People are starting to connect with Small Business Saturday and it’s catching on.”
Some shoppers say they prefer buying local compared to shopping the big box stores.
“There’s a lot of cool stuff that you can find that you can’t find at Meijer or can’t find at the mall, “said shopper Nicole Wright. “This is the kind of place that you can find those good niche gifts to give people that are special to you.”
With a majority of the money spent going back into the local economy, Small Business Saturday promotes a sense of community.
“It just brings a camaraderie to everybody in the community and we’re just one big happy family so it’s important,” Devan said. “They love shopping local with us and that’s what is so great about Grand Rapids.”
If you didn’t get a chance to shop local this Saturday, many small businesses are running promotions throughout the month of December to help shoppers get their holiday shopping done.