Small Business Saturday, a national retail holiday sandwiched between the big-box days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, was another success for small business owners in Buena Vista. The retail holiday not only provides ample opportunities to complete holiday shopping lists, but does so by promoting the support of small, family, or locally owned stores.
Buena Vista, like many small towns, depends on its small businesses to anchor the city’s economy. Dave Hayes, the owner of Fantasy Games and Comics, believes the timing of Small Business Saturday is just right.
“It (Small Business Saturday) is well worth it.” Haynes said. “The timing of it [during] the year is perfect. We’re done with our season. We are kind of in the off-season now. It’s pertinent to the health of the town.”
According to small business owners in the area, Small Business Saturday, regardless of its potential to generate sales, is still an asset to small business.
“It was a humungous, great marketing day,” Haynes said. “Everyone that comes in is a plus. It (Small Business Saturday) usually does really well for us.”
Michelle Mckee, the shop manager of The Village, was encouraged by the amount of traffic passing by on Main Street and walking through The Village.
“Town was very busy,” Mckee recalled. “And we were very busy. Small Business Saturday is, typically, one of our best days of the season, maybe one of our best of the year. We love Small Business Saturday. We have participated since we’ve been open, so this is our third year participating.”
Mckee is optimistic for the holiday season. Many shop owners, including The Village, are participating in the Christmas opening this coming weekend and will be offering additional sales.
Phillip Puckett, Buena Vista’s town administrator, over time, has witnessed the city embrace Small Business Saturday.
“This year, The Watershed acted as host [for Small Business Saturday].” Puckett said. “They had materials, bags, and things like that. It seems to be something the businesses are participating in each year. It does continue to be a driver for activity for our businesses.”
The Buena Vista community, said Puckett, seems quick to rally around its local businesses.
“Certainly, in a small town, there is a lot of pride in our small businesses and the desire to support them,” Puckett acknowledged. “[Small Business Saturday] is a reminder that people can shop locally, and to get people out there [to our stores].
Pucket said this year, the Buena Vista Chamber of Commerce was key in promoting Small Business Saturday. Promoting local businesses and the town economy should fit in nicely with the Chamber’s role within the city.
“In 2010, and I remember American Express was the sponsor [for Small Business Saturday],” Puckett said. “Now, it is being driven by the town, in terms of raising awareness. I think [Small Business Saturday] will be a good tool within [The Chamber of Commerce] area.”