Valley shoppers buy in to supporting small businesses
Nov 25, 2012 (Menafn - The Fresno Bee - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --The low-key atmosphere for Small Business Saturday in Fresno was a far different vibe than Black Friday's frenzy, pleasing customers in the Tower District and downtown.
"When I come into a store like this, this is my cup of tea," Wayne Horton said as he walked into R&J International Furniture on Olive Avenue.
"You don't have the big crowds, and it's more personal," the Fresno resident said.
Small Business Saturday -- sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday -- is a day devoted to supporting local, independently owned businesses nationwide.
Sales went well Saturday, business owners in Fresno reported.
Karen McClintock, owner of Karen's Keepsakes, also on Olive Avenue, said the Saturday after Thanksgiving typically is busy.
"Today has been busier than usual," said McClintock, who has been in business for 40 years. "The weather is nice and people are out and about."
Just down the street, Robert Spickard, co-owner of The Dragon's Treasure, also had quite a few customers.
"We've had a very nice response today," said Spickard, who makes about two-thirds of the items in the jewelry store.
Shopper Trish Beebe of Fresno said she appreciates the individual attention and specialized items that small businesses offer. "They're unique. They're not cookie-cutter businesses."
Melanie Davis, owner of Twee boutique in downtown Fresno, said consumers help bolster the local economy, because about half of items sold in small businesses are made in the Valley and a high revenue percentage stays in the community.
Andrea Granse said she shops for Christmas gifts every year at Karen's Keepsakes. She likes the items that she can't find elsewhere. Granse said she did her part to promote the city's independent merchants.
"I even posted on my Facebook to buy local and that it was Small Business Saturday," the Fresno resident said.
Sandy Highfill, another customer at Karen's Keepsakes, said she prefers to spend her money in local stores instead of chains. "I want the money to (stay) here. I think it's a way to keep the community strong and jobs secure."
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