By Emily Rachelle Russell | Echo
On Saturday, Nov. 25, local businesses in Grant County will be participating in a special national sales event known as Small Business Saturday.
Founded by American Express and scheduled between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday is a day for individuals to participate in and contribute to their own community.
According to Grant County Economic Growth Council's Victoria Herring, director of business development and operations, and Mikayla Marazzi, director of marketing and communications, it's a day for customers who are looking to find a new favorite store, work on their Christmas shopping, get to know local business owners and meet the neighbors.
For college students, life can often be seen as transitory. Herring and Marazzi want students to see how many great businesses and experiences are available off campus.
"I think (the benefit) can be twofold," Herring said. "(Students) can realize the community has a lot to offer them and that they have a lot to offer the community, and it can start to create a really interactive relationship (with the community)."
Shoppers during the holiday season will often drive to big chain stores in nearby cities; Small Business Saturday is about showing these shoppers everything they have available just down the street. Marazzi calls it "retail that is experiential."
Businesses in Grant County involved this year include Mama Pearson's Soaporium, the Abbey Coffee Co., the Claire Clark Beauty Lounge and Boutique and more. Marion, Indiana's newspaper, the Chronicle-Tribune, will have a special three-page ad spread featuring the businesses involved. According to Herring and Marazzi, many communities host local events for Small Business Saturday. Grant County hopes to incorporate similar events in next year's participation.
One participating business familiar to Taylor is The Bridge Cafe, located on Main Street in Upland. Nicholas Hindes, manager at The Bridge, is excited about a day for small businesses to go alongside the big store sales of Black Friday and online promotions of Cyber Monday. He believes students as customers can have an impact on the Upland community by spending their money locally, and Small Business Saturday is one way to do that.
"Taylor and Upland, they both support each other," Hindes said. "They feed into each other. Taking money and taking business and putting it in a business that is not Taylor really brings further revitalization to the city of Upland, and that's one of the missions we have (at The Bridge), is to be a common space for the city of Upland and for (Taylor)."
For more information on Small Business Saturday, visit the national website. An interactive map is available to display small businesses near any given zip code.