Small Business Saturday draws customers -- some unwittingly
Nov 24, 2012 (Menafn - Tampa Tribune - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --TAMPA Edward Rochelle does not like to do business with big business.
Which is what brought him, on this sunny and mild November afternoon, to Just Grillin, a Carrollwood store dedicated to all things barbecue.
Rochelle, looking for a new, high-end grill, unknowingly took part in a nationwide effort -- called Small Business Saturday -- to get folks to shop at locally owned stores.
More than 100 million people last year took part in Small Business Saturday, created in 2010 by American Express, the company's web site states. It takes place after Thanksgiving Day, between Black Friday and the following Monday, now known as Cyber Monday for online shopping.
"Big stores don't have that hometown feel," said Rochelle, who knows something about small businesses.
A few years ago the retired Hillsborough County sheriff's deputy created his own small business, Tampa Foto.
"I do everything but weddings," he said.
Like Rochelle, Brian McGinity prefers spending money at small businesses.
"I like doing business with the small man," he said. "You don't get the same quality at the big box stores."
McGinity, who came in today looking for a log rack and artificial logs for a gas-fired fireplace he already had purchased from Just Grillin, said he also was unaware of the social media-stoked Small Business Saturday promotion.
But store owner Doug Driscoll said he had a 10 percent bump in business last year, and he expected similar results Saturday.
"We are getting pretty busy," he said this afternoon as customers looked at products ranging from the Al Fresco, a 3,800 professional grade gas grill, to bags of black cherry wood chunks produced by an organic tree farm in Maine.
"We have been blessed by Small Business Saturday," said Driscoll, who has owned the store with his wife, Heather, for eight years.
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