Small Business Saturday offers boost for local stores

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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- With big crowds at all of the major retailers as holiday shoppers jam the stores a smaller component of the shopping landscape is looking for a boost this weekend.

Small Business Saturday offers a big boost for local shops in the metro.

November 30th is Small Business Saturday and the owners of small stores are hoping shoppers don’t forget them.

Small business owners are hoping holiday shoppers save some money for November’s finale. Mom and Pop shops are the stuff of Americana.

Legends Comics & Coffee has been in operation for more than a decade. Ari Schomburg shops there. He tries to support small business in the area.

“I think it’s important to support the businesses that are owned locally and have people who live and work here as opposed to just another corporation that really doesn’t have any interest in this place,” he said.

Small business owners admit it’s tough to compete against the large retailers because big companies can buy more and charge less. But if shoppers don’t spend dollars in the smaller stores the area business landscape could change.

Wendy Pivonka, with Legends Comics, said, “If we don’t support them they will slowly, they have been slowly, going away but if we don’t continue that support we won’t see any of that support. We won't see any more locally-owned and operated business.”

Along with battling big brick-and-mortar, small business also faces the clicks, swipes and taps of online shopping.

Elizabeth Medrano, with McMillian’s Antiques, said small stores offer something that tech can’t touch.

“You can actually come into the store," she said, "sit down on product, see it, feel it and you know what you’re leaving with. It’s instantaneous. You don’t have to wait for it to come in the mail in a couple of days.”

Kylie Berg and Dan Kison are planning their wedding. They stopped at Spruce, a gift shop, to get help while keeping their dollars local.

Dan called the experience, “friendly, personable,” and said, “you get a little bit better service, I feel.”

Kylie said, “I think it’s important to support local business to keep the money in Omaha.”

Amy Sporrer owns Spruce and said she fights against larger retailers by providing a personal touch for customers.

“It keeps the town alive, not just big box stores. We know our customers, get to know everybody, be friendly and know what they want. The couple that just left, we talked about planning their wedding. Came up with ideas on how I could get things for them. You don’t get that personal touch when you run to a big box store.”

Amy said that, so far, the personal touch has been working and Small Business Saturday has been good for her shop.

“I think it’s amazing,” she said. “It’s super-important. I think it’s one of our best days of the year and people really show up and support.”

Small Business Saturday began in 2010 as a way to promote and encourage holiday shopping with locally owned stores.

Legends Comics and Coffee