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Local stores urge consumers to shop local on Small Business Saturday

Posted at 10:11 AM, Nov 27, 2021

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Supply chain shortages and inflation have hit businesses large and small.

That's why small businesses in Grand Rapids are reminding consumers to shop local on Small Business Saturday and throughout the holiday season.

"Unfortunately, the great majority of what we sell is manufactured overseas. So we've noticed definite hiccups this year," said Margaret Kleist. Blue Bridge Games owner.

Blue Bridge Games is you classic neighborhood game shop, located along Fulton Street East is part of theUptown Grand Rapid's shopping district.

"It's all analog," said Kleist. "So nothing in here plugs in. It's all about reconnecting around the table with friends and family."

Preparing to celebrate their third year in business, Kleist and her husband both own and run Blue Bridge Games.

Kleist says they're experiencing the difficulties of the nationwide shortages and delays right now.

"We've noticed big delays in either publishers pushing back timelines for new game releases, our ability to restock to the amount we would like," said Kleist. "The silver lining is that there's really no shortage of great games. So even if the new ones are stuck on a boat in the ocean, you know, there's still plenty to introduce you to."

A short drive away along Wealthy Street, Uptown GR's newest business explained how they have also felt the supply chain pinch, given their opening was delayed due to shortages.

"Just getting the space ready. We've had definitely some shortages with these are new windows getting put in," said Isaac Mogck, Michigan sales director for Paddle North "I think it was originally X amount of a delay and that got delayed kind of by a couple of months."

After years of selling Paddle North products in Michigan (high-end standup paddleboards, kayaks, and other outdoor gear), Isaac Mogck opened his first storefront on Black Friday.

"It's huge to be able to open up on Black Friday," said Mogck. "This was kind of our no later date. The holiday season is here. So we're really excited."

Being new to the uptown community, Mogck has a message to share with shoppers experiencing big box store delays and shortages - shop local!

"For the first time this year, we have a full inventory of everything, which is super exciting," said Mogck. "When you shop local, you're helping out your neighbor and that's huge. So obviously we try and give back to the community as well. So just keeping it all within the same, where it's not kind of funneling out to some massive corporation."

That message echoed from a neighboring business.

"Whenever you spend $1, locally, about two-thirds of your dollar stays here in the community, which is much more so than when you spend $1 at a big box store," said Kleist. "So you're really making a big difference in your community by shopping intentionally this small business Saturday."

Blue Bridge Games
Located: 954 Fulton St E, Grand Rapids MI 49503
Small Business Saturday hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Paddle North
Located: 1048 Wealthy St SE, Grand Rapids MI 49506
Small Business Saturday hours are 11 a.m. to 7 pm.