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Small Business Saturday helps retailers boost business, raise profile

Pete Davidson and Miles Davidson, father-and-son co-owners of 3rd Street Music in Hamilton, one of dozens of businesses offering Small Business Saturday discounts in Butler County. ERIC SCHWARTZBERG/STAFF
Pete Davidson and Miles Davidson, father-and-son co-owners of 3rd Street Music in Hamilton, one of dozens of businesses offering Small Business Saturday discounts in Butler County. ERIC SCHWARTZBERG/STAFF

Small Business Saturday, now in its 10th year, is being embraced as a part of the holiday shopping tradition, a source of neighborhood pride and a way for local communities to support local businesses.

Small businesses strengthen local communities and economies, generating two of every three net new jobs and delivering essential goods and services to consumers, according to the Small Business Administration.

Understanding the important contributions small businesses make to their communities, Greater Hamilton Chamber of Commerce is participating in the 10th annual Small Business Saturday to support area businesses in the area.

The chamber's website, www.hamilton-ohio.com, lists a wide variety of area businesses participating in Small Business Saturday via one-day sales, specials, giveaways and drawings.

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3rd Street Music, one of more than a dozen businesses offering Small Business Saturday discounts, saw "a bit, not a ton" of new business last year, but expects to do about 200 percent uptick this Saturday, according to Miles Davidson, who owns the business with his father, Pete.

“I think a lot has to do with where we were last year, compared to now,” he said. “Our selection of guitars, music gear, and vinyl is much stronger than it was then.”

The store’s reach also is “way wider” because of presenting itself to a larger audience, hitting the community hard this year by participating in events like the Hamilton Flea and Operation Pumpkin.

“We even made our way across town by partnering with a Main Street business for Music on Main,” he said.

Businesses in Middletown's downtown are going "all out" for Small Business Saturday with discounts, free gifts with purchases, demonstrations and more, according to Jeff Payne, executive director of Downtown Middletown Inc.

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For an early look at a list of all deals, visit www.tinyurl.com/SBS2018Middletown. Alternatively, shoppers can stop by the DMI tent in Governor's Square starting at 9 a.m. for a passport guide to all the promotions on Small Business Saturday.

Design 2 Wear 2, will be offering 10 percent off all orders storewide on Saturday only at the shop, which specializes in custom screen print, embroidery and large format printing, according to co-owner Ron Meadows.

Saturday business at the 1112 Central Ave. storefront, which has been in downtown Middletown for seven years, is “come and go,” but Small Business Saturday business typically generates twice the amount of sales, Meadows said.

However, the retail holiday is about more than just increasing sales.

“We’re a destination anyway because we do custom T-shirts and we do a lot of business with businesses and schools but on Small Business Saturday, you end up with people downtown or people walking into your store that haven’t been here before and didn’t know we were here, so … people finding out you’re here and coming back and placing orders and things like that just makes it worthwhile.”

In addition, the Santa Parade starts its procession through the city’s downtown at 4 p.m. and several of the characters will be hosted by downtown businesses after the parade for photo opportunities and meet and greets, Payne said.

Small Businesses are “the backbone of the business community” throughout the year, according to Kert Radel, president and CEO of the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce,

“There’s a need to have an economy that encourages people to want to start up a small business in their community,” Radel said. “There are more and more people every year who want to realize their dream of starting up a small business. It’s important to remember to shop with small business not only during the holidays, but year round.”

An annual survey by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics found that of those planning to shop during the long holiday weekend 41 percent — about 67 million — are expected to shop on Small Business Saturday, and 78 percent of those say they will do so specifically to support small businesses.

In the Thursday to Monday shopping, that’s just behind Black Friday, which remains the busiest shopping day with 71 percent (116 million) planning to shop, and Cyber Monday, with 46 percent (75 million) planning to shop.

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BY THE NUMBERS: SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY SHOPPING

  • 30 million: number of small businesses in America
  • 945,000: number small businesses in Ohio
  • 108 million-plus: amount of Americans who participated in Small Business Saturday 2017, by shopping or dining small
  • $12 billion: amount generated in reported spending for Small Business Saturday 2017
  • 71 percent: percentage of holiday weekend shoppers who said they planned to shop on Black Friday
  • 41 percent: percentage of holiday weekend shoppers expected to shop on Small Business Saturday
  • 78 percent: percentage of holiday weekend shoppers who say they will do so specifically to support small businesses.
  • 46 percent: percentage of holiday weekend shoppers planning to shop Cyber Monday

SOURCES: National Retail Federation, Prosper Insights & Analytics, Small Business Administration