Local, small businesses help make downtowns vibrant, Hotmer said, so Small Business Saturday gives people an opportunity to show support for the shops that make an area unique.
Supporting small businesses also means supporting local residents, the Downtown Dayton Partnership said.
“These are just people who are following their passion and starting their own businesses — and a lot of people that we just know from our community who have started their own businesses — so it really depends on the community to keep them going and keep them growing and help them be strong,” said Jessica Sands, marketing manager for the Downtown Dayton Partnership.
For some small businesses, Small Business Saturday is a way to introduce their shops to locals who may not know about them yet.
“I’ve only been open for six months, so I’m kind of hoping it’ll help anchor us in the community as a place to come shop,” said Ashley Wildermuth, owner of BA Bricks in Troy. BA Bricks, at 224 S. Market St. in Suite B in Troy, sells a variety of Lego products, including new, wholesale items, and second-hand items.
“We’ve got everything from single pieces to mini figures, books, and storage for your Legos. There are Lego products for non-Lego builders,” Wildermuth said, adding there are Legos for boys, girls, children, and adults hobbyists at BA Bricks.
For other businesses, their shop has been a staple in the community for years, so Small Business Saturday gives locals another reason to visit a store they love.
“The store is a historical store in many ways because it’s been around Springfield for so long, so people like to support it because of that factor,” said Matt Luther, owner of the Peanut Shoppe at 1576 E. Main St. in Springfield. “They’ve got history and memories of the store as a child with their parents and grandparents.”
Shopping locally boosts the local economy and provide jobs for people in the community, said Christopher Schutte, vice president of communications at the Greater Springfield Partnership.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our country’s economy,” Schutte said.
Nearly two out of three new jobs in the U.S. are at small businesses, which employ over half the nation’s workforce, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.
“Shopping locally generates $68 in local economic return for every $100 spent. And local small businesses donate 250% more than large businesses to local nonprofits and community causes, creating a positive cycle of giving back locally,” Schutte said.
U.S. consumers who shopped at independent retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday in 2022 spent an estimated $17.9 billion, according to a consumer insights survey from American Express.
Shoppers can also support local artists, such as at the Art Shop at the Oxford Community Arts Center, which will be open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
“All of the artists in the shop are local artists who hand make all of the items in the shop,” said Heidi Schiller, executive director of the Oxford Community Arts Center at 10 S. College Ave. in Oxford.
The Art Shop features more than 290 items all made by artists in the Oxford area, Schiller said. Those items include music, pottery, fiber art, watercolor art, jewelry and more.
“It’s a lot of different things where people can get some really unique gifts for the holidays and feel good about what they’re purchasing,” Schiller said.
Small Business Saturday also is about creating unique experiences for people exploring downtowns in their area. Downtown Middletown Inc. wants shoppers, including local residents along regional visitors who may not visit the downtown often, to have a positive experience and want to come back, said Jeff Payne, executive director.
“This gives us an opportunity to help those businesses continue to thrive, grow, things like that, as well as the fact that most small businesses provide you a much more unique experience than say franchises,” Payne said.
Middletown is now in its Very Merry Middletown season, said Kenzie Bruns, media coordinator for Downtown Middletown Inc. This includes its Holiday Hoopla ice skating rink and Light Up Middletown, which Bruns said is like a drive-through light festival.
“On Small Business Saturday, we’ve got our Santa parade that starts at 4 p.m. and shopping all day,” Bruns said. “The businesses have sent in their shopping specials in the downtown, and DMI will be out passing out shopping guides throughout the entire day leading up to the Santa parade.”
People can visit downtownmiddletown.org to find additional holiday events.
A chance for prizes
The Historic Inner East Shop Small Saturday event includes the following businesses:
- Dayton Society of Artists, 48 High St., open noon to 5 p.m.
- Fifth Street Brewpub, 1600 E. Fifth St., open noon to 11 p.m.
- Gem City Catfé, 1513 E. Fifth St., open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- The Local 937, 1501 E. Fifth St., open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- MADE a ceramic art studio, 1619 E. Fifth St., open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Pink Moon Goods, 2027 E. Fifth St., open noon to 6 p.m.
During the event, shoppers who make a purchase from at least three of the six businesses — and get an employee’s initials on a passport — will be eligible for a chance to win one of six prizes.
The Downtown Dayton Partnership will also have a character called the Real Elf roaming around downtown on Saturday, and if people find him, they can have a chance to enter a giveaway to win a prize comprised of items from local businesses.