Small Business Saturday takes place this Saturday, November 27. What started as a marketing campaign by American Express over 11 years ago has now become an annual shopping holiday.
Jasper Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Nancy Eckerle spoke about what Small Business Saturday means to the community.
“I believe Small Business Saturday was designed to put an emphasis on locally owned stores, shopping local in your communities supporting those businesses that support the community throughout the whole year. So that is a great reason kind of kicking off on the you know, the Black Friday, which really focuses a lot on the big stores. But this focus is on the small stores. So, you know, shop small Saturday is a very important event not only in our area, but across the whole United States.”
Eckerle states that although the community was economically impacted by the 2020 pandemic 2021 has seen favorable growth.
“Through the Jasper chamber, we’ve done probably 25 At least ribbon cuttings during the year 2021. And a few of those might have been might even have been in 2020 the businesses have been resilient, they have tried everything all the way from delivering things to your home, to putting them outside to you know, kind of back door if their doors weren’t open in the front and they’ve tried everything they can and I think the community truly responded to that.”
Eckerle expresses that consumers should also be aware of low inventory and alternative options this Christmas season.
“Now it’s a different kind of a tough time. It’s a matter of getting in supplies and items and the supply chain type of things. So people need to be I think patient and also maybe a little bit more creative. So if you have your heart set on a certain item, maybe think a little bit different and be willing to listen to your stores and the people that worked there and they might give you a different way and actually suggest some things that you think would work either for your family or whoever you’re giving that gift to.”
Local merchant Linda Gehlhausen and owner of Gehlhausen’s Flowers and Gifts has noticed an increase in traffic to her shop on Fourth Street in Huntingburg.
“I feel like since stroll we are definitely seeing more families more girls coming as a girl’s trip type things spending the afternoon in town. So that definitely is a step in the right direction there.”
Gehlhausen says that the holiday season is pivotal to the continued success of local merchants
“Small Business Saturday is so an important to us little guys. We are here all year we try and keep things running and it’s so important for that one day for people to come on in, say hi. Do a little shopping or do a little dining eat at the restaurants but to support the people that in turn more supporting back out to the community.”
Remember when you shop local you’re supporting local businesses and boosting the economy within the community.