Small Business Saturday: Shoppers support local businesses following Black Friday

November 23, 2018 11:45 PM

While Lori Newland of Fairport gave plenty of credit to business behemoths like Amazon, she found that the biggest of retail businesses didn't always fit the bill for holiday shopping, which brought her to Parkleigh in Rochester.

"There are things that are great about online shopping," she granted. "But there are things that you can't get. And you don't have the chance to look and find something, and find a treasure, or something unique. And I think it's harder to do that online."


As the mega-commerce of Black Friday fades, shoppers and retailers prepare to change gears for the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

For the past nine years, the Saturday after Thanksgiving became known as Small Business Saturday sponsored by American Express. 

It is a shopping day dedicated to smaller scale, local stores. And it is a notion some shoppers have seemed willing to embrace.

"You know, most people are understanding that the larger corporations aren't always the ones that are deserving of their money when they're shopping," said Jordan Blundell, manager of Hemp It Up on Park Avenue."They'd rather support someone that is feeding their family, helping a small girl get ballet dancer classes, instead of going to the larger corporations where are you don't know where that's going." 

CNBC reports that a new poll by SurveyMonkey found 44 percent of consumers intended to shop at smaller businesses, an increase over last year's figures.

"They definitely want to come in and shop with us rather than going to a big store," observed Cassandra Malanche, manager at Parkleigh.  "A lot of people call and say, 'Do you have this? I don't really feel like going to the mall and I want to support a local business.'"

And while Parkleigh does offer merchandise for sale on its website, Malanche insisted the options, and the experience, were superior in person. 

The little guys received an encouraging cheer from Bob Duffy, president of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, who tweeted out messages saying, "Support makers, movers & shakers. Shop local." He also tweeted, "Shop local. Keep that money circulating in the community."

That approach gained an appreciative reception from Chris Bly of Seed and Stone Cidery in Rochester, an entrepreneur herself, as she too shopped at Parkleigh.  

"I own a small business in Rochester," she exclaimed, "and so you like to try to keep it in the community as you can."


Charles Molineaux

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