GREENSBURG – Saturday, Nov. 25 is “Small Business Saturday.” As the kick-off weekend to the 2017 holiday shopping season begins, retail merchants all over the world prepare to greet the throngs of customers whose shopping habits will either make or break their yearly sales goals. In a tough economy, big “box” stores prepare to happily accept almost any form of payment in exchange for those lofty sales figures so important in determining their futures.

Jeff Emsweller, executive director of the Greensburg Chamber of Commerce was asked about Small Business Saturday. “It’s a great program that was started about three or four years ago by American Express. They wanted to call attention to how important it is to spend your money locally. When you buy something at the ‘big box’ stores, it helps the economy, yes, but that money leaves the community. When you make a purchase at one of our locally owned small businesses, 71 percent of that money stays in the community. That money allows the employees of that business to spend money as well, and the circle just continues. ‘Shop small, shop local,’” Emsweller said.

According to the small businesses on the Greensburg Square, “big box” infers an impersonal approach that represents oft times a key difference between themselves and big box stores.

Dale Huntington of Huntington Jewelers on Washington Street can recall many times that this “personal touch” provided his customers with services not offered by larger retailers. Having worked at the business for 39 years, Dale can recall having stayed open later just for a specific customer and even doing “rush” fittings for customers. He can recount times his father (founder and small business owner for 63 years) even “made deliveries.”

Bonnie Holiday, owner of Magnolia Mercantile on the Square reminds customers that “even though something new and shiny is a nice gift” she reminds shoppers to” remember to shop the Greensburg square for something that’s one-of-a-kind.” She continues with “Small Business Saturday is important because it reminds all Greensburg citizens that there are MANY interesting gift-purchasing opportunities on the square. “ Holiday says that even though most of her good Christmas business is during the month of November, Small Business Saturday increases her traffic. “It sure helps” she says.

Emily Robbins, of Denim and Honey, at 217 N. Broadway reminds shoppers that “everything we do, we do with the community in mind.” Having purchased the successful boutique in spring, she mentioned that she’d not experienced a full Christmas season yet, but says, “everything a small business owner does, whether it’s making merchandise purchases, or planning events designed to bring in customers…it’s all done for the local customer” she commented.

As Huntington remind us, “Give us a chance. Give us a chance to show you why you should buy from small businesses!”

Contact Bill Rethlake 812-663-3111 ext. 7011, e-mail bill.rethlake@greensburgdailynews.com.

Small Business Indiana Statistics

1,173,626 of all Indiana workers are employed by small businesses. (www.hoosierdata.in.gov)Small Businesses make up 97.2 percent of all state employers (www.sba.gov/advocacy)47 percent of all Indiana workers are employed by small businesses (businesses with 499 or less employees).(www.sba.gov/advocacy)Small businesses represent 16.4 percent of Indiana’s total exports(www.sba.gov/advocacy). Of the small business firms in Indiana (fewer that 499 employees) 44 percent are retail firms(www.sba.gov/advocacy).

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