NEW YORK — Saturday was a Super Bowl of sorts for mom-and-pop shops across the Tri-State area.
Small Business Saturday allows people to support the local merchants who keep our communities unique and vibrant. As CBS2’s Dave Carlin reports, shoppers spent the day “keeping it local” by making small purchases.
Westwood, New Jersey, is a small town with a quaint and thriving business district.
Heidi Skelton, owner of Threads, is 20% off everything for this special day to celebrate and support small business owners.
“We have relationships with all of our customers, so they’re our friends, we’ve seen their kids grow up, so when people come in, we’re excited to see them,” she said.
“I like big stores, but this is my favorite little store,” said shopper Sheryl Magnuson. “You have to support the local people. They have to survive.”
Kimberly Alutto opened Westwood Candy Company and Gift Shop just over a year ago.
“It’s hard being a small business, but it’s a lot of fun and very rewarding,” she said. “We’re more than just a business. We’re part of the community. That’s really what I try to be, so it’s always nice to have your community come back and support you, and luckily Westwood has been wonderful since I’ve been in business.
Music Merchant, on Westwood Avenue, has been open since 1979.
“We sell a lot of stuff and then we have Record Store Day, which was yesterday,” owner John Schlapak said.
The hot seller is always vinyl, especially Christmas records.
“We have this whole thing where we give each other Christmas albums as kind of a fun gesture,” said shopper Heather Whitney.
These stores don’t have huge manpower or massive warehouse space, and while they may be small, they are powerful and deserve a lot of love.
Experts say two-thirds of every dollar spent at a local business stays in the community.
In Brooklyn, the day served as a kickoff for Bedford-Stuyvesant’s Winter Wonderland event. It’s an outdoor holiday shopping experience featuring local artisans, makers and small businesses.
“It’s important because small businesses support the community. It’s a way for us to have our wealth, to have generational wealth to keep everything in our community,” said Keeshagaye Whitter, founder of personal care line My Emollient.
The holiday pop-up market is open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through December 23rd.