SALT LAKE CITY -- Many local small businesses participated in Small Business Saturday, which is a national day created to follow Black Friday by highlighting local merchants and what they do for their communities.
“[It’s] Just a better way of interacting with your dollar than going to Wal-Mart and trying to barrel down other people,” local shopper Conor Murphy said. “That’s never been an attractive thing to me.”
The day after Black Friday is Small Business Saturday; it’s nationally observed but focuses on the local community and economy.
Tom Cordova owns Great Harvest Bread Company, and he explained the goal of the day.
“Just basically promote these different small commercial pockets that are unique and neighborhood oriented,” he said.
On Saturday in the 9th and 9th area of Salt Lake City, local stores ran sales and set up warming stations with snacks and drinks, all with the idea that the more you put into the community the more you'll get out of it.
“We are a part of the community, so we have to give back and help out,” said Helen Wade, who is the owner and operator of the clothing store The Stockist by Fresh.
Wade runs the clothing store with her brother Ian, and they said shopping in their store is a personal experience because they work to develop relationships with their customers.
'We really try to gear our store towards your lifestyle and shop for you when we are at our store,” Wade said.
Murphy agreed about the importance of those personal connections.
“Getting to know the people who work there and getting that personal interaction and getting the reward of supporting your community,” he said.
Small Business Saturday was created by American Express back in 2010, and today businesses all across the country participate.
According to the Utah group Buy Local First, for every dollar spent in a locally owned business, three times more of that dollar stays in our economy than would be the case with a national retailer.
“The act of spending your dollar in a way that encourages local investment and local community is a rewarding act in itself,” Murphy said.
Related story: A push to “shift spending” locally