By Terry Rogers
Downtown Milford was bustling on Saturday but not only because Santa arrived on a Carlisle Fire Truck around 11 AM. Many people visited businesses both downtown and throughout Milford in order to promote local businesses during the holiday season.
“We visited downtown for three reasons,” Randy Warnick said. “We went to get coffee at Dolce, see Santa and my daughters-in-law did some shopping. Haven’t got a clue what they bought.” Mr. Warnick was in Milford with his sons, Cory and Shannon, their wives Sarah and Betsy, his wife, Janie, as well as his four-year-old grandson, Emory.
David Vezmar said that he and his family arrived downtown too late to see Santa arrive, but they had lunch at Arena’s, visited Dolce for hot chocolate and coffee plus Sugar Bee for some candy. He said they did visit Santa after their other stops. Mr. Vezmar and his family also returned to downtown to see the lighting of the trees in front of City Hall. He said that they shop local as much as they can, supporting small business throughout Milford.
Mr. Vezmar’s sentiments echoed much of the sentiment of those that shopped in Milford on Saturday, most of which decided to do so because of Small Business Saturday.“I went to Angela Dorey’s LulaRoe and Sweet Tea Pop Up, Dolce, Blooming Boutique, Sugar Bee, Mispillion Art League and Cypress Liquors,” Tracy Dissinger said. “I bought great gifts for many people on my Christmas list. What a great town to be able to know someone in every store I went into. And, Santa came to town, it was a great day.”
American Express began Small Business Saturday in 2010 in an effort to encourage people to support small, local businesses. In 2011, the United States Senate passed a resolution of support for the event. The value of small businesses goes well beyond improving the economy. Small business accounts for 60 to 80 percent of the jobs in the United States. Research also indicates that spending money in locally-owned businesses keeps the money in local businesses as small business owners also tend to buy from other local businesses.
Communities also benefit when consumers purchase from small business as local non-profits receive as much as 25 percent of their support from smaller businesses rather than larger companies. Many small businesses are also one-of-a-kind, something many shoppers say is the reason they chose to shop in downtown Milford where there are several unique art galleries and other businesses with items that cannot be found in other locations.
“We shopped at Good News Natural Foods and the antique store next to Dolce,” Alice Metzner said. “We went downtown specifically because it was Small Business Saturday and I wanted to support my hometown.”
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