By Kristin Bednarski
Dozens of shoppers browsed the small shops in Historic Downtown Milford during Hometown Holidays Nov. 24, and many also supported small businesses on Small Business Saturday.
The two events overlapped with Hometown Holidays Nov. 23-24 and Small Business Saturday Nov. 24.
American Express was responsible for the start of Small Business Saturday, which they began promoting nation-wide November 27, 2010 to celebrate shopping “small” at local businesses.
Small Business Saturday falls after Black Friday and before Cyber Monday on a weekend full of shopping in the United States.
“I think it’s wonderful,” Vivian Pfankuch, of Jaybird Farms, said about Small Business Saturday.
Pfankuch had a booth set up along Main Street in Milford and was selling homemade gifts and crafts from her local farm.
“We need to get more people down into Milford in the shops and in the area,” Pfankuch said.
Many shoppers who came to Milford have made shopping local a tradition, and they bring family members who visit over Thanksgiving weekend.
Gloria Santelle was visiting from Michigan and said she came out shopping with her sister Karen Martin.
“We’ve been having fun checking out little antique stores,” Santelle said.
Tom and Vicki Engelbrink, who own Primitives and More in Milford, talked with the sisters and other customers about Small Business Saturday in their store Nov. 24.
Vicki Engelbrink said the Small Business Saturday was going well for them. She said they had a lot of out of town guests visit their shop, which sells a variety of arts, crafts and decorations.
Abby Tuke, who works at Monograms on Main, said they were also busy on Saturday.
“It’s been very busy,” Tuke said about downtown Milford. “And it seems like a lot of people are coming in.”
Tuke said she thinks Small Business Saturday was well-publicized this year and felt like there was a lot of traffic because of the campaign.
“We were busier today than we were on Friday,” Tuke said. “I think people go to the big chains on Friday and then shop local on Saturday.”
She said she thinks people come out more on Saturdays now because they like the fact that Small Business Saturday supports small local businesses.
“I think it’s such a great thing to have these days,” Tuke said.
American Express promotes Small Business Saturday not only by their advertisements that encourage shoppers to support local businesses, but also by offering rewards for their customers who do shop local.
The company also provided signage and tips for local business owners to get shoppers in their doors.