Small Business Saturday important, fun day for local stores

By: Julie Snyder | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published November 23, 2015

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MOUNT CLEMENS — Not quite finished with your holiday shopping at the end of Black Friday? Well, there’s more time, as well as more deals and even some fun to be had on Small Business Saturday Nov. 28.

In Mount Clemens, many of the small business owners that operate in the downtown area agree that while Small Business Saturday gives them that extra boost in revenue, it’s simply just a fun day.

Diane Kubik, owner of Max & Ollie’s Vintage Boutique on Macomb Place, called Small Business Saturday “enormously important” in that it reminds people to support shops like hers.

“We usually hand out coupons, and people come in and say thank you,” said Kubik, whose vintage clothing and home accessories shop — named after her sons — has been operating in Mount Clemens for 10 years. “We definitely see an increase in sales on that day, and we just have a ball; it’s such a good time.”

Debbie Heuchert, owner of Champagne Chocolates, agreed.

She said the popularity of Small Business Saturday has grown tremendously over the years, which is certainly a good thing for business owners like her.

“Our sales have really gone through the roof on that particular day,” said Heuchert. “And if people don’t buy anything that day, they place orders or they learn that they can order what they need and pick it up when they need it. I’m a stickler about everything being fresh. I let them know they can pick it up fresh closer to or on the day they need it without waiting, and I just hope that they do come back.

“It’s really a marvelous day for us,” she added.

Both Heuchert and Dave Schneider, owner of ABC Magic Shop on Walnut Street, credited American Express for creating Small Business Saturday in 2010, using the slogan “Shop Small.” 

“The hardest part is to get people downtown to see what we have,” Schneider said. “Small Business Saturday definitely helps. It’s definitely important.”

American Express had previously offered statement discounts to cardholders that shopped at participating stores on that day. They reported that in 2014, an estimated $14.3 billion was spent at small independent businesses on Small Business Saturday.

Schneider, who owns ABC Magic with his wife, Terri, said it’s nice when new customers come in with looks of amazement on their faces as they take in not just the plethora of tools of the magic trade, but the science-inspired toys and activities, and the old-fashioned and newer toys they have on hand.

“We offer free magic classes from 12 to 1 (p.m.) every Saturday, and I gift-wrap for free,” Schneider said. “People come in and say, ‘I didn’t know you did that or had those.’ Small Business Saturday brings in those people, and we see about a 30-40 percent sale increase on that day over a normal Saturday.”

In an effort to help promote the “Shop Small” initiative and boost the local economy, the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development is reaching out to independently owned retailers who are participating in Small Business Saturday with special sales or events, asking them to submit their promotional fliers. They will be featured on a new page on their website, MakeMacombYourHome.com.

County officials say the purpose of the initiative is to support the county’s independent retailers by boosting awareness of Small Business Saturday and connecting residents with local businesses. There are nearly 1,600 independently owned retail establishments in Macomb County for shoppers to visit. 

Macomb County independent retailers can send their Small Business Saturday sales and special event fliers to info@macomb business.com to be included in the resource guide.

 

According to the Department of Planning and Economic Development, on average, 48 percent of each purchase at local independent businesses is recirculated locally, compared to less than 14 percent of purchases at chain stores. 

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