In 2015, Small Business Saturday, an event created by American Express in 2010, set records for money spent to support small businesses. During the event, held each year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, people spent $16.2 billion in small businesses around the country, up eight percent from 2014. Downtown Milford has planned several events designed to support Small Business Saturday in 2016.
This year is one of the most anticipated Small Business Saturdays for many families as Santa Claus arrives in downtown at 11 am and a Tree Lighting at City Hall will start at 5pm. Businesses downtown and throughout Milford will offer discounts and specials on Small Business Saturday to encourage people to forego larger chains and department stores.
Irish Rose will be open from 9 AM until 5 PM on Small Business Saturday. “I will be offering a one-time only for Small Business Saturday 15 percent discount on Belleek and Wateford items as well as all capes,” Eugenia Sparks said. “There will also be a Small Business Saturday table special with all items 50 to 75 percent off. There will be specially marked items that are $5 and below.” Ms. Sparks said that customers benefit from the specials offered by the businesses. She said that first-time visitors to Milford on that day always comment about what Milford has to offer. Ms. Sparks said that sales have always been brisk on Small Business Saturday and she looks forward to it each year.
Millie Pederson who owns Josephine Keir LTD in Milford says that she will be open until 8pm on Small Business Saturday and she plans to have a storewide sale for that day only.“Main Streets cannot survive without people shopping locally,” Ms. Pederson said. “More locals are starting to realize the benefits of Small Business Saturday, such as special prices, longer hours for shopping and the positive gratification of being part of the community revival of downtown as a shopping destination.”
While business owners will offer discounts on items that day or coupons for future discounts, several small businesses in Milford are planning to collaborate with other small businesses to promote Small Business Saturday Together. Peggy Reilly of Sugar Bee, a downtown Milford boutique that offers a selection of gourmet chocolates and candies, states that the personalized attention to detail and individualized service that locally-owned businesses are committed to is a welcomed relief from the big box store holiday experience.
“To me a small business can only survive by knowing their customers; you have to communicate with them, listen and deliver on what they want,” stated Reilly. “We get to know our customers quickly and talk with them continuously on how we can better serve their needs.” Some holiday treats available at Sugar Bee this year will be traditional ribbon candies, oversized candy canes, sea salt caramels and gourmet truffles.
Another intangible factor that many studies do not recognize is the personal investment and interest many local businesses have in seeing their local community grow and prosper. The desire to see a flourishing active town becomes not just a sense of pride but a urgency of livelihood.
“A strong business in the community allows people in the area to stay local and offer the pride to showcase what their community has to offer,” stated Owner of Abbott’s Grill restaurant Kevin Reading. “Also employing local recaptures the money in the community where the workforce tends to also spend locally. I have had people make a decision on moving here based on the quality of our restaurant.” Abbott’s Grill owners Reading and Laura Burton continue to reinvest in Milford by hiring local, supporting local charities and fundraisers, sitting on non-profit boards and bringing attention to the area. On December 1, 2015 the couple will be opening their second business in Milford, Mispillion Fitness, just two doors down from their restaurant on NE Front Street.
Sign up for you free digital subscription of The Weekly Review, delivered directly to your email every Tuesday morning. A quick cover-to-cover read to catch up on the news of the week and experience great stories about our local communities. Sign up for your free email subscription below.