‘You are investing in your neighbors’: Small businesses will be the focus Saturday

Small businesses will be the focus this Saturday

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If you hit the malls for Black Friday deals, local store owners in Rochester are hoping you saved some room on your shopping list for Small Business Saturday.

What Black Friday has become to big-box retailers, Small Business Saturday has become to local stores everywhere that depend on the support of their communities. to keep their doors open.

Small Business Saturday means even more this year to Akimbo Bookshop owner Rachel Crawford.

“On April 30th, 2022, we did open our doors on East Avenue. Only eight months into opening that storefront did we suffer from a fire that totaled the storefront,” Crawford said.

With community support, Crawford has been able to reopen in a new location off University Avenue, making this year’s Small Business Saturday even more special.

“You are investing in your neighbors, in the people that we share space with every single day,” she said.

Offering a little bit of everything from big-name titles to a focus on social justice literature and international fiction, Crawford says her store is unlike any other.

“When you are shopping at Akimbo you’re not just supporting our shop as a small business and us neighbors, but we also focus on small presses,” she said.

Since Small Business Saturday began in 2010, over $120 billion has been generated for neighborhood mom-and-pop shops across the U.S.

Claire Williams was among the Black Friday shoppers stopping by Akimbo Bookshop on Friday and says it’s always important to support local businesses, no matter what day it is.

“We wanted to come to small businesses because it’s really important to support them in our community.” Williams said.

“It’s easy to go to the big stores, Barnes & Noble and look at all their books, but it’s really nice to have somebody with a local perspective and think about the issues that matter to people that live in Rochester,” she continued.

That’s a feeling that Shops on West Ridge owner Nile Marble is counting on heading into Saturday.

“It’s really the best place for local business. We got 200 local shops here, two floors, a cafe, and just 200 mini shops in one building. and it’s just the best way to support local business in a one-stop shop,” Marble said.

According to a recent Groupon survey, more than 75 percent of American consumers say they plan to support local businesses Saturday.