November 25, 2017 05:15 PM
Many people have probably heard the message to "shop local" grow louder this time of year.
The concept of supporting small businesses has gained steam in recent years, especially with the launch of Small Business Saturday, which takes place on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The nationwide movement encourages people to shop at small, independent retailers as opposed to big box stores or online.
Many business owners in the 50th & France business district on the Minneapolis/Edina border consider Small Business Saturday one of their busiest days of the year.
"It's fun to see people really coming out and supporting little operations, little stores," says Stacie Borst, co-owner of Shop in the City, a store selling Minnesota-themed and locally made products.
Borst says she's seen a significant impact on sales and traffic in the years since Small Business Saturday first launched. She adds it's a great opportunity to connect with new customers.
"It's just opened up a lot of dialogue between shop owners and the people who come through our front doors," Borst says.
Rachel Thelemann, executive director of the 50th & France Business Association, says there will be a lot of fun events planned for Small Business Saturday, including a winter market featuring local artisans, the annual Edina Tree Lighting ceremony and a kids' activity zone with child care provided by College Nannies and Tutors.
Thelemann says shoppers are realizing their support of small businesses is critical, especially during the holiday shopping season.
"I think people (understand) that they need to support their favorite little shop or it might not be there next year," she said.
"(Small Business Saturday) has brought a lot of new customers in," Jasmine Dennis said, a retail associate at Pacifier, a children's boutique on France Ave.
She says it's important to turn those new customers into satisfied ones that will visit the store again, or encourage their friends to do the same.
"We just go the little extra mile to make sure they're finding everything okay, or that they're asking questions they feel comfortable to ask," Dennis said.
She adds staff will also refer customers to other businesses in the area if they're looking for certain products or recommendations.
Business owners say they want to make their customers feel special and let them know their business truly matters.
"We definitely want to make it an event. We definitely want to make everyone feel excited to come in here, not just to shop but to get to know us, to get to know what we have," Borst said.
Click here to learn more about Small Business Saturday events planned for the 50th & France Business District.
Updated: November 25, 2017 05:15 PM
Created: November 15, 2017 05:08 PM
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