PLATTSBURGH — In direct contrast to the frenzy of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday was a more laid-back event, with relaxed shoppers doing their part to support local business owners in the community.
Most people out Saturday were more concerned about supporting the cause then getting huge discounts, although many stores offered Small Business Saturday specials.
Lisa Crain of Plattsburgh was out shopping in the Fashion Exchange consignment shop Saturday — a store she frequents often. Crain doesn’t consider herself a big shopper, but she grew up in a small-business family and the cause is one that is important to her.
“It’s (supporting local businesses) a no-brainer to me,” Crain said. “I would much rather spend my money in a small local establishment where I know I will get good, quality, recycled clothing.”
For Crain, shopping somewhere where she gets good service is really important, in addition to the fact that it supports the local economy.
“Small business is what keeps our community alive,” Crain said. “I go to places where people treat me well and care about whether or not I am happy with my purchase.”
Kelsey Hanrahan, a local SUNY Plattsburgh student, pointed out that knowing the owners in the small businesses usually makes for a better shopping experience.
“I think it’s important to support local businesses, especially in a small community,” Hanrahan said.
To many, this year’s Small Business Saturday event seemed to be promoted more heavily than the previous years.
“I’ve heard more interest this year than the last three years of doing Small Business Saturday,” said Peg Tucker, owner of Fashion Exchange. “People definitely seem to know about it this year.”
In Peru, at Yarborough Square, owner Sally Gibson had several shoppers wish her a “Happy Small Business Saturday,” so she knows people were more aware of it this year. Gibson said that last year’s Small Business Saturday was very busy and this year was similar, as the store was steady all day with shoppers.
The snow in Lake Placid helped business at Maui North, but owner Robin Keysor said Maui North’s Plattsburgh location was also really busy Saturday.
“It’s good to shop local — it keeps the tax base up and keeps the money in the area,” Keysor said. “The more money spent locally, the more it helps the local economy. Money that leaves the area never comes back.”
Maui North offered specials Saturday, too, which, in addition to the advertising, encouraged Julie Miner to make a purchase of skis Saturday.
“We were going to get them anyway, but because all the ads encouraged us to support local buying, we came out today,” Miner said. “I never knew about it before, but I definitely did this year, there were a lot of ads around.”
Kate Patrick, who used to own a small business herself, also noticed the increase in publicity this year.
“I think it’s important to buy local whenever possible,” Patrick said. “I think they did a great job of getting the word out this year.”