Small Business Saturday, coming Nov. 24, is the perfect opportunity to get started on your holiday shopping while supporting the neighborhood’s unique mix of retailers.
“As far as the Beacon Hill Business Association is concerned, every day is ‘Small Business Day,’ and we feel very fortunate to be part of a small-business dominated community,” said Lucy Grogan, who serves as co-president of the organization alongside Ali Ringenburg. “Beacon Hill is a destination for small businesses, so this is just an opportunity to emphasize that.”
Launched in 2010 by American Express, the campaign takes place nationally each year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving and offers holiday shoppers an alternative to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which highlight big-box and online retailers, respectively.
“Small businesses build community and give back to a neighborhood in a way that big-box retailers and online shops cannot,” wrote Lana Barakat, owner of December Thieves, which sells home and lifestyle items at its 88 Charles St. storefront, as well as fashion at its other location at 51 Charles St. “While shopping small is something that should be done year-round, Small business Saturday is an important reminder to celebrate and support your local businesses to keep them successful, and to keep your community thriving.”
Jennifer Hill, the owner of Blackstone’s of Beacon Hill at 46 Charles St., whom Grogan describes as “the neighborhood’s small business ambassador,” wrote, “Small Business Saturday is important to local shops because it draws attention to the importance of this part of our community. When you shop small at a local store, eat at local restaurant or sip coffee in your neighborhood, you have a chance to chat face-to-face with your neighbors and friends. These things all contribute to community, something Amazon cannot offer.”
Jack Gurnon, owner of Charles Street Supply, the independent hardware store at 54 Charles St., applauds American Express for launching Small Business Saturday nearly a decade ago.
“Do I believe it brings in that much extra business? Not really, but I think it makes people focus on the fact that there are small businesses out there… and it brings in some new people from the suburbs to visit the neighborhood shops,” Gurnon said. “It’s really hard for brick-and-mortars these days…and as a small business owner, I think it’s great because we need to do everything we can to keep people’s minds off the Internet.”