As major retailers prepare for the annual Black Friday blitz, specialty shops and boutiques are looking forward to "Small Business Saturday."
"Small businesses offer an intimacy that the large chain stores cannot," said Kathy Doty, co-owner of the new CookiePops store in Wheeling's Centre Market. "At a small business, you can get to know your customers, and they can get to know you."
Doty and her sister, Ruthy Zavatsky, opened CookiePops last week.
Photo by Casey Junkins
Sisters Ruthy Zavatsky, left, and Kathy Doty recently opened the CookiePops baked goods store in Wheeling’s Centre Market. The store is one of several preparing for a shopping rush during “Small Business Saturday.”
In addition to cupcakes and cookies, the business offers something they call the "cookie bouquet," which features cookies in place of the flowers found in a regular bouquet.
According to organizers of Small Business Saturday, the event began in 2010 in response to small business owners' most pressing need: more customers.
"Small Business Saturday has really resonated with consumers who are eager to show support for their neighborhoods," said Susan Sobbott, president at American Express OPEN. "Our research shows that for more than half of consumers say the primary reason they choose to shop at a small business is because they feel it is important to their neighborhood and community."
Throughout the Centre Market area, businesses are preparing for the holiday rush by decorating their storefronts.
Whether one is looking for antiques, homemade personal care products such as felted soap, or unique food and baked goods, one can find such items at Centre Market.
"It is just so great to be down here," said Zavatsky. "There is so much culture and history here."
In addition to Centre Market, shops in Warwood, Elm Grove, Moundsville, St. Clairsville, Martins Ferry, Bellaire, Shadyside and in other communities throughout the Upper Ohio Valley are preparing for the holiday rush, which they hope the Saturday event will bolster.
"I hope everyone does well. We really need to support our small businesses," Doty added.