Blue Water Area businesses hope for more shoppers this year for Small Business Saturday




  • In Business
  • 2021-11-25 02:38:48Z
  • By The Times Herald
The Lazy Llama co-owners Wendy Kellehan and Diane Street pose for a photo in their Marine City shop on Nov.
The Lazy Llama co-owners Wendy Kellehan and Diane Street pose for a photo in their Marine City shop on Nov.  

When Main Street Ensemble opened in downtown Port Huron in September 2020, it was only a few short months before the special shopping holiday Small Business Saturday.

The clothing store's owners had more business than they were expecting with pretty stringent COVID-19 pandemic regulations in place, but they hope this year they're more prepared for what to expect on Saturday.

Business co-founder Dylan Wolf said during the pandemic there's been a big push to shop small. He thinks it carried over to this year and hopes there will be a better turnout with people itching to go shopping again.

"I'm pretty excited for Small Business Saturday," fellow Main Street Ensemble co-founder Chad Roberts said.

Main Street Ensemble co-founder Chad Roberts hangs a shirt in downtown Port Huron on Nov.
Main Street Ensemble co-founder Chad Roberts hangs a shirt in downtown Port Huron on Nov.  

What is Small Business Saturday?

Small Business Saturday is an American shopping holiday the Saturday after Thanksgiving, which is the busiest shopping period of the year, said Blue Water Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thelma Castillo.

Cynthia Cutright, who oversees special projects in Port Huron and is the acting Downtown Development Authority director, said Small Business Saturday is a reminder in the craziness of the holiday season the importance of small, locally owned businesses.

It's a reminder that small businesses are there and there's nothing people can get online they can't get locally, she said.

The Lazy Llama decorated for the holiday season in Marine City on Nov.
The Lazy Llama decorated for the holiday season in Marine City on Nov.  

What it means for local businesses

The Lazy Llama co-owner Wendy Kellehan said the Marine City store's three busiest days of the year are Black Friday, Merrytime Christmas and Small Business Saturday.

Since they reopened from the COVID-19 pandemic people have been shopping local and this will be a day to celebrate that, she said.

Fellow store co-owner Diane Street said it feels like there's still a big push to support local, but local businesses are also getting the support they need because people aren't traveling as much and are sticking a little closer to home with the pandemic.

The store will have specials for Small Business Saturday and Street's glad to hopefully have more people shopping than last year.

A llama ornament hangs in The Lazy Llama in Marine City on Nov.
A llama ornament hangs in The Lazy Llama in Marine City on Nov.  

"We hope that this year is a little bit back to normal," she said.

Wolf said this year Main Street Ensemble wants to focus on the younger audience as it has had a lot of interest from local high school students with vintage becoming more popular.

There will be a buy two, get one T-shirt deal, 20% off outerwear and 30% off denim sales. Hours will probably be extended and people can check their social media for more details, he said.

"We're expecting a good turnout," he said.

Main Street Ensemble in downtown Port Huron on Nov.
Main Street Ensemble in downtown Port Huron on Nov.  

Small Business Saturday in 2021

Cutright said this is the year that businesses can try to make up for lost business last year during the pandemic and have good footing going into 2022.

The DDA isn't doing something specific for the holiday like raffles in past years, as the organization wants to focus on the small businesses. Cutright is collecting local store hours that day as some businesses are expanding hours, she said.

There will also be events the following Saturdays to continue having something special downtown. There will be a "walk the window" event Dec. 4 where people can check out window displays, a cocoa crawl Dec. 11 with around 20 businesses participating and Dec. 18 will be a "tacky" Christmas sweater day, Cutright said.

"You don't have to shop small businesses just on the 27th," she said.

Llama hoofprints lead people deeper into The Lazy Llama in Marine City on Nov.
Llama hoofprints lead people deeper into The Lazy Llama in Marine City on Nov.  

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Castillo said hopefully the entire county will get a lot of activity Small Business Saturday. Weather will play a role and if it's a sunny day people are more likely to come out and support local businesses.

"Hopefully it's a beautiful day and hopefully people come out and support their local business owner," Castillo said.

She said people should remember that local businesses are the ones who sponsor community events and organizations like little leagues. They're the people who live, work and believe in the community and people should help their local business owner this holiday season so they are in a good place when 2022 rolls around.

"We have to remember we want our community to thrive and we want our businesses to thrive," she said.

People can contact Main Street Ensemble at (810) 689-4844 and can follow the business on Facebook and Instagram. People can contact The Lazy Llama at (810) 676-5128 and ds6wk3@gmail.com. People can find out more about Small Business Saturday and local events in Port Huron through the downtown's Facebook page.

Main Street Ensemble in downtown Port Huron on Nov.
Main Street Ensemble in downtown Port Huron on Nov.  

Contact Bryce Airgood at (810) 989-6202 or bairgood@gannett.com. Follow her on Twitter @bairgood123.

This article originally appeared on Port Huron Times Herald: Businesses hope for more Small Business Saturday shoppers this year

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