Merchants hope for big doings locally on Small Business Saturday

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By Deb Hurley Brobst

Evergreen businesses are hoping residents will think local this weekend by shopping here.

They hope holiday shoppers will stay away from the big-box stores on Black Friday and online shopping on Cyber Monday. Instead, they want residents to consider unique gifts that smaller shops offer as part of Small Business Saturday.

The Saturday shopping day was started in 2010 by American Express to give local businesses their own Black Friday sales day. The event asks shoppers across the country to spend money at locally owned and operated stores.

As American Express puts it: “When you shop at these small local businesses, you support all the things that make your community great. The money you spend here stays here in this place you call your neighborhood.”

Lin Browning, Evergreen Area Chamber of Commerce president, agrees with American Express: “It’s important to support local businesses. Shopping locally helps create a strong local economy.”

She said it was hard to nail down exactly how many small businesses are in Evergreen, estimating close to 2,500, with most of them home-based.

However, she said, if residents still feel the need to go down the hill to shop, she suggested staying in Jeffco because the sales taxes help the county and taxes collected for the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District helps Evergreen cultural organizations.

Ron Isaacson, director of a local promotion group called Our Evergreen, said small shopkeepers in Evergreen are open because it was their dream to have a business of their own.

“Small Business Saturday helps those people who are trying to live their dreams here,” Isaacson said. “These people work hard to make a living. (Their businesses are) their passion. They deserve applause and support.”

The theme of Our Evergreen is live local and shop local, and Small Business Saturday is all about that, he said.

Shop owners echoed the sentiments.

Kappy Kling, owner of HearthFire Books and Treats in Bergen Park, spoke about the necessity of shopping local to keep small businesses open.

Seasonally Yours owner Janice Stutters agreed: “Small businesses are the fabric of our nation, and if we don’t support that fabric, we’re going to end up with nothing but big-box stores. Unique can only be found in small brick-and-mortar shops.”

Contact Deb Hurley Brobst at deb@evergreenco.com or 303-350-1041. Check www.CanyonCourier.com for updates.