Small Business Saturday features service, smiles
Nov 25, 2012 (Menafn - Detroit Free Press - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --Eva Dodds likes to shop online, but when it's time to make a purchase, she turns off the computer and hits the street.
"I'll see something online and try to find it at a local store," said Dodds of Bloomfield Township, who brought her son Jack, 4, to see Santa and purchase a few gifts at the Village Toy Co. in Grosse Pointe on Saturday. "I just want the money to stay in Michigan. I feel strongly about that."
That's exactly the kind of attitude local shop owners were trying to reinforce during Small Business Saturday, an effort nationwide to support local businesses. The day falls on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Small stores across Michigan opened their doors and lured shoppers with discounts, door prizes and special deals to boost holiday sales and encourage people to keep coming back after the holidays. The Grosse Pointe Chamber of Commerce and the Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce got involved and hosted activities designed to get people in local stores.
In Dearborn, chamber representatives visited local businesses and distributed 25 American Express gift cards.
In Grosse Pointe, the chamber promoted Small Business Saturday deals such as the Village Palm boutique, which offered a 25 gift certificate for purchases of more than 250.
Rita Decker and her sister Teresa Decker, both Grosse Pointe Woods residents, came out to show their support. They spent time browsing through some of the colorful accessories on display at the Village Palm, a licensed Lilly Pulitzer store that also carries merchandise from Vera Bradley and others. The sisters already had shopped in St. Clair Shores.
Small businesses, Rita Decker said, "have such a hard time competing with some of these big stores. We like to support U.S.-made products."
Helping local businesses is an issue Village Palm owner Sarah Kreisler is passionate about, not only because her store benefits from people who shop local, but also because the success of small businesses will strengthen the community and attract more businesses, she said.
"A lot of people don't understand how important it is to support Michigan businesses," Kreisler said.
Santa was a big attraction at the Village Toy Co. on Saturday. So was the special that allowed customers to spin a wheel to determine whether they would receive 10% off one item or 25% off their entire purchase. The store has participated in Small Business Saturday for years.
"It's huge," said Claudia Corrado, one of the managers at the toy store. "With the decline in the economy, our business has decreased."
More young people moved into the area, and they like to shop online, she said. So stores like hers try to offer something a computer can't: personalized service. They'll wrap gifts for free, add personal details to items such as tote bags, colorful piggy banks and vases. And they help customers like Rose Pompeo find just the right gift for her young relatives. "There are some people who prefer good service," said Pompeo, who had a basket full of items Saturday.
Contact Lori Higgins: 313-222-6651 or email@example.com
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