In between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, there’s another shopping day to celebrate: Small Business Saturday.
While Frederick gives lots of attention to its small downtown businesses during the month of December, Small Business Saturday is a chance for the small businesses in towns like Brusnwick, Mount Airy and Thurmont to shine as well.
Mayor of Mount Airy Pat Rockinberg said that it is important for a community to support its local businesses, which then in turn support the community.
“They provide employment opportunities, they provide conveniences, they provide a tax base, and they also support local sport clubs and organizations, whereas some of the larger retail chain stores do not,” Rockinberg said.
Small businesses account for 64 percent of new jobs created in the United States in the last 15 years, according to the Small Business Administration.
“They are the job creators, the small businesses,” said Vicki Grinder, economic development manager of Thurmont. “Whether it’s two people or 50 people working there. That’s important to everybody, every town, every city.”
Thurmont spent the whole week highlighting its small businesses on its “Main Street Thurmont” Facebook page. Posts highlighted different businesses within the community, what they offer and why they think it’s important to shop small.
“People got the word out. Instead of waiting for that day, you want people to know about it prior, so we’ve been promoting it all week,” Grinder said.
Mayor John Kinnaird proclaimed Saturday “Shop Small Saturday” at a recent town meeting. Thurmont also makes a point to encourage shoppers to support small businesses all year round, Grinder said.
Susanne Garver, a sales associate at Timeless Trends Boutique said that she likes working at the shop because of the small community feel.
“It’s cozy, you feel like a part of something, instead of a conglomerate,” she said. “There’s heavy duty competition out there with the box stores.”
Kim Clever, of Thurmont, went shopping in the boutique on Saturday specifically in honor of Small Business Saturday. She was going to head out to Lowe’s but then decided to head to Ace Hardware — which is locally owned — and then do some holiday shopping. It’s a personal experience for her.
“I know some of the people who own the businesses, they’re friends,” Clever said.
Michael Hobbs is the owner of Hobbs Hardware, which has been in business in Thurmont for 75 years. He hopes Small Business Saturday encourages people to shop local when they can.
“People should support their town instead of driving to Frederick to save a little money,” he said.
Hobbs also pointed out that small businesses often give back to their communities.
Grinder agrees, citing businesses giving back to local nonprofits and youth sport leagues.
“Go to a Little League game or other kind of sporting where there’s children involved and look at the back of their jerseys and see who is sponsoring these teams,” she said. “It’s the small business owners.”