Shop Small Saturday promotes small business

Staff Writer

In 2010, small businesses were hurting from an economy in recession.

In an effort to support local shops that are the backbone of communities all over the U.S.,  American Express launched Small Business Saturday on the Saturday after Thanksgiving to encourage people to Shop Small and bring more holiday shopping to small businesses.

Then one year later, as the Shop Small Movement gained momentum, local officials across the nation took notice and promoted Small Business Saturday. In 2011, the Senate unanimously passed a resolution in support of the day and officials in all 50 states participated. It even got a shout-out from the then-president of the United States Barack Obama.

Growth Alliance Director Lisa Klutts has embraced the idea of promoting locally-owned shops, restaurants and businesses in West Point, especially on Shop Small Saturday. 

"I always want people to spend their money here at home," Klutts said. "I also understand there are things that are not available here. But if at all possible, shop with our small business owners. They are the people we wave to on the street. The parent we sit next to during school sporting events. They are our friends and neighbors."

Klutts said there is an abundance of wonderful local shops with fun and interesting gift ideas.

"Having Shop Small Saturday right between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is perfect," Klutts said. "And what other town has a person in a panda head with a sign, 'Honk If You Shop Local?' Only West Point had that during Shop Small Saturday."

Shopping downtown and around town offered wonderful antique shops with vintage decorations to make everyone remember their favorite childhood Christmas. 

Clothing, jewelry, decorations, gifts, hardware, cookware, art, almost everything can be found downtown or around town in West Point. 

"You miss out on the human connection," Klutts said. "I always run into someone I haven't seen in a while and we stop and catch up. You can't get that shopping online."

She said when shopping at locally-owned businesses, there’s less of a chance of having a debit or credit card compromised. That is a headache to be avoided.

"Before you take your dollars out of town, see what specials are going on at home,” Klutts said. "There are so many specialty shops right here in West Point that have that one-of-a-kind item you are looking for. Give our local store owners a chance. And remember, there's no place like home."