Local merchants gear up for Small Business Saturday

By SCOTT MIMS / Staff Writer

The 10th anniversary of Small Business Saturday is Nov. 30, and many local merchants will be offering special deals and extended hours on that day.

Small Business Saturday is a counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which are the year’s biggest shopping days involving primarily big box stores and e-commerce outlets, respectively. Small Business Saturday, on the other hand, focuses on smaller businesses and brick and mortar stores.

Shelby County Chamber President Kirk Mancer said about 70 percent of the Chamber’s investors have 15 or fewer employees. Mancer encourages the support of small businesses year-round.

“Obviously, small business is an integral part of any municipality,” he said. “Anything that helps promote the positive impact small businesses make on our community is worthwhile.”

Brenda Sands, executive director of Columbiana Main Street, encourages all Shelby County residents as well as visitors to take advantage of the promotion and help support local business owners.

“The idea is to get the community involved and go out shopping,” Sands said. “It’s another day to add shopping small and shopping local to our itinerary. All of our businesses are trying to be very convenient for our shoppers to shop and eat.”

Dorthey Nix of Dragonflies Antiques & Marketplace in downtown Columbiana said her store will serve refreshments and will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., an hour earlier and an hour later than usual, or longer if necessary.

“My vendors will be in and they will be offering special deals on that day,” Nix said. “We’ll stay here as long as there are people here.”

Nix added, “It’s important that (people) support the small businesses and mom and pop stores and keep the money local.”

Lesa Nivens Benefield, owner of gail’s, The Florist in Columbiana on Main Street, recently had her new location renovated. The 1850s-era building, the former location of Busy Hands, was given a European-style treatment and sports an open coffee bar out front. There one can also find many small business American-made items for sale.

Benefield said her shop will be opening early Nov. 30 at 8 a.m. and offering 15-percent discounts.

“Shopping small businesses supports your local community,” she said. “We need the tax dollars in our town for our children. You’re supporting local families.”

Historically, the event was first observed in 2010 and was created by American Express in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino and Roslindale Village Main Street.