Small Shop Saturday

Nov. 24 in Tuscaloosa wasn’t just about the Iron Bowl. As a part of black Friday weekend Saturday was also small business Saturday, and was centered on shopping at locally owned businesses around Tuscaloosa to support the community.

Local business owners around Tuscaloosa spoke on why it’s important to include locally owned businesses in your black Friday shopping.

“Shopping small businesses is the backbone of supporting your local community,” said Angela Atchinson, owner of Pause Boutique. “Without the local support, we definitely wouldn’t make it each day.”

Small business Saturday was started in 2010 as a day to remember, and support, the small businesses in the community. Tuscaloosa county has a wide variety of locally-owned shops, from books and toys to clothes and more.

“With all the big box stores doing their huge sales even before black Friday now, we’ve decided to kinda keep it.. Go back to the way it was meant to be in shopping in a small, intimate atmosphere rather than in total hysteria,” said Easty Lambert-Brown, the owner of Ernest & Hadley. “We’d like to regain that uniqueness and that comfort of Christmas and to make people feel like they’re involved in a special holiday, not just mass consumption of materials.”

Soapy Jones, owner of Left Hand Soap company, said she works with local vendors to make her products. So by supporting them, you support several others at the same time. With the season of gift giving underway, smaller shops strive to make a connection with their customers and try to sell them more personal items.

“When people come in, I really try to make sure that they know how much they are appreciated and give a personal experience and help in any way that I can,” said Atchinson. “I want everyone to feel comfortable and be able to have fun shopping. I know i have a lot of competition online, so I want everyone to feel that presence personally.”

Supporting local businesses doesn’t just benefit the owners, but the whole community.

“Studies have shown that if you spend a dollar at a local shop that 80-something cents of that dollar stays in the community, whereas when you spend it at a larger big box store only about 55 cents of that dollar stays in the community,” said Jason Patton, owner of Oz Music. “So, you know, it goes to pave your roads and to supply equipment to your police department and your fire department and everything.”

Categories: Local News