Despite heavy rains on Saturday, shoppers from around Owensboro-Daviess County "shopped small" in recognition of the 10th annual Small Business Saturday.
Small Business Saturday was created by American Express in 2010 in the face of the recession to encourage people to Shop Small and ultimately bring more holiday shopping revenue to small businesses.
Cape Air, Old Hickory Bar-B-Q, Shoe Stop, Nick T. Arnold Jewelers, Willow Tree, J's Liquors and Gene's Health Food were among 45 businesses that participated in what has become a national movement that is an opportunity for locals to support their area's respective small businesses and allow business owners to show their gratitude to the community, said Karissa Costello, co-owner of Gene's Health Food.
"We love the opportunity to showcase all that we have to offer for the community," she said. "It is also a great opportunity for us to be able to show our appreciation to the community for continuing to support us and allowing us to grow. Despite the weather, we had a great turnout. We have had coupons out there, and we had many items for sale throughout the store as well. Lots of people brought their bags in and came to check us out after seeing us and our coupons in the paper. Our deli was extremely popular, but it always does well on Saturdays and every day. We have a full deli in the back that offers a wide variety of delicious food items."
Among the shoppers at Gene's Health Food were Owensboro natives Lucy Kurtz and Annabel Moore. Kurtz, who is attending the University of Louisville, and Moore, who is attending Bellarmine University, meet at Gene's deli when they are home for break in what has become a tradition for the two childhood friends. Aside from supporting Gene's, Moore had been with her sister and mother through much of the morning and early afternoon to cash in on many of the bargains and sales happening around town.
"We went to Bella Ragazza Boutique and Embellish," she said. "They had a large percentage off of everything, there were pretty good sales all around town."
Set on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, the Shop Small movement has reached roughly $103 billion in spending since its inception in 2010, according to American Express and continues to grow as Small Business Saturday has become more of a household name.
Shoe Stop, which is running sales all weekend, has been in business for 21 years and has been a part of the "shop small" movement since its inception, said Julie Shively Mcdonald, Shoe Stop manager.
"It was a bit soft this morning, but a lot of that had to do with the weather," she said. "We have been running a sale all weekend, but this particular day does tend to get busier later in the day."
She, like many small-business leaders involved in Shop Small, believe that it is an important day for not only the small business owner, but for the people of the community, she said.
"Small Business Saturday is extremely important," she said. "I think small business is the backbone of the community, and I believe that people do talk about it and come out to show their support, not on just Small Business Saturday, but most days of the year. I believe community members go out of their way to support their local businesses and local business owners."
Jacob Mulliken, 270-228-2837, firstname.lastname@example.org