Oklahomans Encouraged To Shop Small During Holiday Season

Saturday, November 24th 2012, 5:35 pm
By: News 9

Deanne Stein, News 9

YUKON, Oklahoma -- If you survived the madness of Black Friday shopping, why not end the biggest shopping weekend on a calmer note?

Saturday, November 24, is dubbed "Small Business Saturday," a day to encourage shoppers to avoid the big box stores and give the locally owned businesses a boost.

"Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the fabric of our communities," said Karen G. Mills, Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA). "Over the last two decades, small and new businesses have been responsible for creating two out of every three net new jobs in the U.S., and today over half of all working Americans own or work for a small business."

And many of those small businesses are located on Main Streets, like in Yukon, an Oklahoma City suburb to the west.

"Main Street is really growing and business is great," said Michelle Werner, manager of Loabi. "Lots of people that want to avoid the big craziness of the malls will actually come into town to shop local since it's smaller and a little bit more of a peaceful environment."

This is the third year for Small Business Saturday. It was created because the small businesses can't usually compete with the Black Friday deals that the large, national chain stores are offering.

"We come here on a regular basis," said Rick Vickrey of Minco. "We're all aware of the financial situation that we're in and if we can encourage our local business people by supporting them, I feel like that's what we need to be doing."

And in turn, shoppers can enjoy shopping while in search for something a little different.

"They have unusual gifts here, you won't necessarily find that at the big mall," said Lynnita Stark of Yukon. "It seems so much more family-oriented is what I like about it."

The SBA hopes shoppers will continue to shop small all season long.

"It's nice to be able to come someplace small where you can get personal service and get to know the faces," said Werner. "It's a little calmer. You can have time to shop and look."

By shopping local, the money stays local. Last year, it's estimated that 100 million people shopped at independently-owned small businesses across the country.