Plattsburgh Becky Leonard doesn’t want small businesses to fade from the community’s collective memory.
That’s why she and other small-business owners around the nation participated in Small Business Saturday.
American Express created the holiday, held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, between Black Friday and Cyber monday, both of which respectively feature big-box and e-commerce stories.
“I have been doing my best to spread the word about it,” said Leonard, owner of Plattsburgh’s Under One Roof Video, 267 Margaret St.
Leonard began preparing days in advance, getting her own store ready for the event and spreading word about Small Business Saturday through facebook. She emailed about 1,200 customers.
“It gives local stores a boost between Black Friday and Cyber monday, and gives us some part of that market,” Leonard said.
Her store featured sales on several items, a raffle and free movies and rentals, while Frosty the Snowman was on hand for pictures with children.
“Frosty handed out balloons,” Leonard said.
She is hoping Small Business Saturday grows each year. The idea, she said, is to spend money locally to ensure it is circulated back into the area’s economy.
“Personally, I don’t know of any business doing well, except for a few restaurants,” Leonard said. “Every business owner I talk to says business is really down across the board.”
Over at Champlain Valley Electric Supply Company, 118 hammond lane, customers received 20 percent off floor and table lamps, 10 percent off electric-heating products and raffle tickets for a stained-glass lamp and Christmas pillow. Each customer also received promotional items, such as air fresheners and refrigerator clips.
“We didn’t do it last year,” said Kim Murray, manager of Champlain Valley Electric Supply Company. “57 percent of the nation’s workforce is employed by small businesses, and 45 percent of money spent at small businesses stays in the local community.”
“This is a good way to get out what we are all about.”
Small businesses are independent and offer personal attention to detail and customer service, Murray said.
Champlain Valley Electric Supply Company has been in the area since 1975 and is doing well, she said.
“It is important to show you are community minded.”