Adam Lis, Columnist
When the dust cleared, the lines shortened and the crowds died out, were you a lucky one who scored a deal on Black Friday? The biggest shopping day of the year that most corporations schedule, not just deals but advertising and most importantly staff, has passed us by and all we have left are memories of good deals. With all of the tremendous sales that big businesses can afford to throw at you such as Old Navy’s doorbusters and Kohl’s Cash for every certain amount of money you spend leaves small businesses in the shadows. For many consumers the idea of using hours stopping in local boutiques and tiny shops are just blimps on the radar of a shopaholic, it’s sort of a “spidey sense” that deal seekers have.
With all of these global tycoon competitors and big-wig corporations scooping the shoppers on the holiday season, we are left to think if small businesses are dead. Well folks, the answer is no. As one who likes to, for lack of a better word, “pride” himself on being a deal seeker, I tend to find my best deals at local businesses thanks to a certain program that was created by American Express in 2010. The idea is called Small Business Saturday and it hit the ground running of the past weekend for holiday shoppers. Mark Boshmack of the Daily Star wrote an interesting article and interviewed some of the small businesses around the Oneonta shopping area. A lot of the local merchants are highly in favor of the campaign and believe it brings about a strong sense of community. The store owners had good things to say about the idea. Stephanie Miller, co-owner of Leilani’s, which sells formal wear, jewelry and lingerie, said she had not heard of the campaign, but that it was a great concept. Miller opened the store two years ago and said she thinks people realize the importance of supporting the area businesses. Julia Goff, program manager for Main Street Oneonta is fully backing Small Business Saturday; her organization’s mission is to encourage people to shop downtown.
Other local businesses in surrounding areas such as Albany also support Small Business Saturday. Local skate shop Seasons had deals galore on Friday and Saturday for the shopaholics with whopping deals on skateboards, sneakers and clothing. Seasons owners Trevor and C.B. said “they wanted to do something nice for the community and thank everyone for the support; understanding that times are tough and that helping people with deals this holiday season was the main goal and focus for everyone at the shop.”
So folks if you are looking for great deals and a sense of community in your shopping, look no further than your own neighborhood. Small Businesses Saturday is a great idea that brings life to towns, cities and other shopping streets. Below is just a list of places in Oneonta and other surrounding areas you might like to check out that are popular and may almost always fit your bargain.
Oneonta: Kelly’s Candy, Latte Lounge, Maxwell’s
Delhi: Main Street Cards & Gifts
Ithaca: Home Grown Skate Shop
Albany: Seasons Skate Shop, Down Tube Bike Shop, Daily Grind Coffee Shop
Troy: Some Girls Boutique