Despite a cold and wet Saturday, local businesses opened their doors for the customers willing to brave the elements for Small Business Saturday.
Small Business Saturday was created a decade ago to promote local businesses amid the 2010 economic recession.
As of 2018, more than 7,500 individuals and organizations nationwide rally to support their local communities with events and activities for this event.
This year’s celebration is the 10th Annual Small Business Saturday, marking a decade of support from American Express for local business owners. Since it started in 2010, consumers have reported spending an estimated $103 billion across all Small Business Saturdays combined. That’s $103 billion toward helping communities thrive, spent over just nine days alone.
More than 30 businesses in Maysville participated in the Small Business Saturday.
Mary Honaker, owner of Apron Strings on West Second Street, has been participating in Small Business Saturday for around five years. For her business she said this event does quite a bit in bringing in quilters in the community and those willing to support local businesses.
“We usually get a large turnout for Small Business Saturday, and even folks who are not quilters but just want to show that they’re supportive of an independent business,” she said. “So it’s a great time to kind of meet new people and just let them know a little bit about who you are, and I think that’s a pretty fantastic concept that everybody is starting to really get behind.”
“We’ve had a pretty rough year downtown with the streets being closed,” Honaker said, “and so it’s great to finally have them open and have people realizing that they can make it all the way through downtown again.”
Gavin Gardner, whose family owns Local Kentucky 68 on West Second Street, said this is the first year the business is participating in Small Business Saturday. The event has also drawn quite the turnout for the shop, and as a way to help out surrounding businesses he and his co-workers directed customers to other participating stores in Maysville.
“Small Business Saturday has really helped us get a lot more business, it’s been a pretty busy day, pretty steady for the most part, and we’ve been sending people off to help out the other businesses around town,” he said.
Shopping local also provides some advantages, according to Gardner, especially when looking around for gifts for the holidays which can eliminate the need to travel hours away to major department stores.
Having a day which highlights local businesses, to Honaker, shows the community how vital they are and the seeming symbiotic relationship businesses and communities have with each other.
“The thing about small businesses — and all of us down here — when something goes on in the community, when your little league team needs a donation or your small group is looking for something, it’s the small business whose door is knocked on often to kind of stand behind those community groups and organizations and events and fundraisers,” she said. “But in turn, that allows us to be, no pun intended, but kind of ‘woven in the fabric’ of the community.”