Small business Saturday takes place this year on Nov. 26. Being a campus surrounded by multiple small local businesses, students at Waynesburg University have the opportunity to take a short trip to visit them this shopping season.
According to the Small Business Association, Small Business Saturday was founded in 2010 by American Express and was eventually cosponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration in 2011. In 2012, American Express took the next step to get the campaign going by offering small businesses free personalized ads. This free advertisement created by American Express led to a huge nationwide revenue of roughly $5.5 billion to small businesses.
“When [Small Business Saturday] first started… it wasn’t as big of a deal, but now it has caught on…” Victoria Bruno, owner and president of Mickey’s Mens Store, said. “Local people want to shop smaller instead of giving the money to the big corporations.”
Mickey’s Mens Store has been around for 56 years since Victoria’s father Mickey Bruno began the business. The long-standing store keeps it simple around the holiday times.
“We don’t prepare in here except to decorate our windows and inside the store… I’ll run some specials too.” Victoria Bruno said. Bruno also said that Small Business Saturday “has become real important to us, we are usually really busy at that time.”
For another small business in Waynesburg, it takes a lot more preparation when it comes to the holiday season.
“We have two businesses here, so we have the coffee roastery… and we have the backpacking business in the back, most of their business is online.” Bridget Vilenica, co-owner of Hilltop Packs, said. “We have to make the coffee… we have to roast the coffee and package it, so it is pretty labor intensive.”
The roastery of Hilltop Packs brings in most of the business’s revenue on Small Business Saturday. Hilltop Packs sees a lot of support from its surrounding community here in Waynesburg. Valencia said, “We’re very community minded so it means a lot to us… the support… we just couldn’t do it without the support.”
5 Kidz Kandy on High Street in Waynesburg does what other small businesses do for Small Business Saturday, but owner Kristy Vliet makes sure she does her part as well.
“I do the majority of my Christmas shopping on Small Business Saturday, and I walk from one end of the street to the other,” Vliet said.
5 Kidz Kandy on High Street in Waynesburg does what every other small business does for Small Business Saturday, but Vliet of the store makes sure she does her part as well.
“I do the majority of my Christmas shopping on Small Business Saturday, and I walk from one end of the street to the other,” Vliet said. 5 Kidz Kandy is known for its candy, but the store also has much more to offer carrying nuts, popcorn, cookies, ice cream, coffee, tea, and many other items that as a small business must be accounted for before the holiday times. In preparation for the holidays, Vliet said, “We stock up… supply and demand… having such a hard time getting the ingredients… we follow the market trends.”
Small Business Saturday is a rather slow business day for 5 Kidz Kandy, Vliet said that she could almost guarantee that she would know which customers were going to walk through her businesses doors on Nov. 26. But the store owner said “It’s not a negative thing, it’s a positive thing, we appreciate it.”