The holidays are upon us and business owners are encouraging customers to shop locally.
8 years ago American Express created Small Business Saturday –a way to promote local businesses the day after Black Friday.
It’s a reaction to the mega stores with discounts and the online shopping with cyber Monday.
Cheryl Lucas, owner of Crystal Books and Gifts, alongside many other business owners in town believe shopping locally is a way for people to be united.
“People aren’t customers, they’re friends.”
Building personal relationships is one of the reasons she believes locals should shop small.
“Remember if you want to come in and get some help, you need a store to be there.”
As big store companies promote their holidays discounts, Lucas says people forget about the mom-and-pop stores.
“When Amazon came and started selling books our sales dropped 25-30% immediately. You cannot compete,” said Lucas.
And she’s not the only one. Ryan Cranston, owner of Ruby Canyon Cycles says they’ve faced similar problems.
“More of our customers, it’s so easy to go online and purchase things online.”
The shop is geared towards anyone but tourists because he believes the money spent in the Grand Valley should stay on the Western Slope.
“Gonna support our families who in turn spent their money locally instead of sending it off, say Amazon.”
According to the Small Business Administration, 60% to 80% of all new jobs come from small shops.
“Your dollars spent with them is going to turn over at least three times in the community. So your dollar is going to go a lot further in terms of diversifying our economy and providing jobs for your neighbor,” said Diane Schwenke, President & CEO of the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce.
Business owners add they use some of these dollars to give back to the community to better the Grand Valley.
“I like Kids Aid, because I like the food going to the children,” said Lucas.
Cranston said, “We made a big donation to COPMOBA this year to help the new Palisade Plunge Trail.”
Small Business Saturday will be held November 24, the day after Black Friday.
Some businesses say they will have promotions during that day.
The Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce encourages local shops to visit the chamber for their Small Business Saturday kit.