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Business owners urging shoppers to come out for ‘Small Business Saturday’

Small Business Saturday is the reserved for the day after Black Friday.
Small Business Saturday is the reserved for the day after Black Friday.(Bryan Sidelinger)
Published: Nov. 25, 2020 at 5:41 PM EST
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ELLSWORTH, Maine (WABI) - Thanksgiving Weekend is famous for being the biggest shopping weekend of the year, and Black Friday gets all publicity. But the day after that is Small Business Saturday, and business owners say shopping local is more important than ever.

Gretchen Wilson, Executive Director of the Ellsworth Chamber of Commerce said, “We’re hoping that the holiday season for Maine businesses gets a bigger boost this year.”

Small business Saturday works just like Black Friday, just on a more community-minded level.

“It’s basically about shopping local, shopping small, and it’s reserved for that Saturday,” Wilson said. “So you can do your big-box shopping, and then go to your downtowns, and go to your community stores. Y’know, check out those family-owned businesses.”

Many small business are holding special holiday sales, but according to Barbara Courchesne, owner of The Bud Connection in Ellsworth, the day isn’t just about buying gifts.

“People will see other people they haven’t seen,” she said. “Shopping downtown, or shopping a local street where you live is a fantastic way to just get out a little bit.”

Union River Book & Toy Co. owner Michael Curtis agrees.

“It just highlights small business on a day big businesses have been highlighted,” said Curtis. “It gives us a chance to shine.”

Many businesses in Maine lost large portions of their summer revenue due to the pandemic, and are hoping the holidays can at least help to cover some those losses. With the biggest shopping weekend of the holiday season coming up, small businesses are depending on their communities now more than ever.

“I just think if people aren’t being community-minded this year, they won’t have a community to shop in,” Courchesne said. “So it’s really up to the public at this point to keep businesses rolling.”

“A lot of people have been, and said that they have come in because they want to support us,” Curtis added. “And it’s great to hear that, and I think it is very necessary.”

Wilson stressed that for business community, every dollar spent shopping local makes a difference.

“Seventy to eighty percent of that dollar goes back into the community, to pay employees, to pay other businesses that are their suppliers,” she said. “It’s really, really important for us to keep them in business.”

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