EC biz prep for Small Biz Saturday
By William F. West
Monday, November 19, 2018
Tina Clancy is among the small-business owners in Elizabeth City already gearing up for Small Business Saturday next weekend.
As is her custom on Small Business Saturday — traditionally held the Saturday following Black Friday and before Cyber Monday — Clancy has a number of activities planned at her shop, Tina Clancy’s Arts and Antique Connection, on North Poindexter Street in the city’s downtown.
Besides hosting a vendor who’ll be offering samples of their barbecue and hot sauces, Clancy also will be hosting a couple of artists who’ll be exhibiting their work.
She’ll also be offering customers cups of free apple cider as they browse her shop for Christmas gifts.
“We’re real excited because we’ve got a lot of Christmas ornaments that are hand-made and that are brand new for this year. So, people can get those customized gifts,” she said.
Clancy also noted that although Small Business Saturday is scheduled to last from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., she plans to be open until 5 p.m., which is her normal closing time.
Credit card giant American Express came up with the idea of Small Business Saturday in 2010, proposing it as a way to put more focus on small retailers and other small businesses during the traditional Christmas shopping season.
Elizabeth City Downtown Inc. Director Deborah Malenfant said the focus on small businesses remains the goal of the local observance of Small Business Saturday.
“It draws a focus to remind people not to forget the small independent businesses and the importance of patronizing and supporting the independent businesses,” she said. “With the holiday frenzy, with the whole Black Friday and the trend toward online shopping and Cyber Monday, it brings a focus back to the small independent retailer or restaurant.”
Malenfant said as part of the downtown’s observance of Small Business Saturday, Santa Claus will be making visits to a number of businesses. Shopping bags with a “Shop Small” logo will also be given away while they last, along with free hot chocolate and probably candy canes, she said.
Although she’s focused on Small Business Saturday in the downtown, Malenfant noted that the event also includes all small, independently owned businesses citywide.
Economic Development Director Christian Lockamy, who started his job here last month after working for the city of Greenville’s Office of Economic Development, said he’s helped support the observance of Small Business Saturday in the past.
Lockamy said there’s a lot of value in buying local because a lot of the revenue that small businesses collect stays in the community. Keeping that wealth local allows small businesses to turn around and invest what they earn in the local economy, creating more local jobs, he said.
“It’ll expand their businesses,” he said. “And some of them create other businesses.”
Lockamy noted he has already met a lot of people in the Elizabeth City area who operate two or three small businesses.