Small business is booming in Old Town Clovis. People turned out in droves for Small Business Saturday, an event that kicks off the holiday season for small businesses in Clovis.
American Express created the event in 2010 as a way to encourage more people to support their local mom and pop shops. Taking place after Black Friday but before Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday has grown bigger each year since the Senate passed a resolution to support the day in 2011.
Old Town business owners told the Roundup that this year’s Small Business Saturday, which happened Nov. 30, was especially profitable.
Greg Sassano, owner of Sassano’s Men’s Wear, said his store saw good business that day, which continued for the rest of the week.
“It was great for us. We had a lot of people that came in. We had no tax that day. I’m surprised a lot of people didn’t know that we were not charging for tax on that day,” Sassano said, adding that some of his customers told him they were there to support small business.
“It was huge, so many nice people came in supporting small business,” Watt said. “I’m always posting things about small business and buying local because we have families to feed and we don’t have corporate paychecks.”
Watt said she supports not only her own store, but also the entire Old Town Clovis community. Her reasoning? Small business is essential to the Clovis way of life.
Whenever a customer comes in looking for something that Watt knows another store has, she will point them in the direction of that store.
“It’s part of who we are, it helps people to find what they are looking for while they are in Old Town. If its lunch, I’ll first find out what they want and I send them appropriately to the various restaurants,” Watt said. “I do all my shopping in Old Town, I can find almost everything I need here. There certainly is something for everyone.”
By supporting each other and capitalizing on events like Small Business Saturday, small business has thrived in Old Town, a place where major chains such as Starbucks or McDonalds have remained absent.
It is a sentiment that is shared by Tammy Shultz, owner of Clovis Appliance.
“We’re very tight knit. I’ve had many customers who told me they would only shop in Clovis, because this is their community,” Shultz said.
“They make it a point when they can that they want to shop local, that they prefer to buy local versus the box stores. They tell us that they get more information from us, that their questions are answered, they get the information that they need. To have our customers tell their kids and their grandkids, ‘Go to Clovis Appliance,’ it’s a really good feeling to have them say that.”
Shultz’s customers bought up kitchen packages such as refrigerators, ovens and dishwashers on Small Businesses Saturday. Shultz said the support from the community is what makes her store able to compete with big businesses in town such as Wal-Mart.
She said the charm of Old Town also gives small businesses an edge, as the setting calls back to America’s roots.
“This country was built from mom and pops, we didn’t have Wal-Mart or Office Depot and all that back in the 1800s. We had little grandma and grandpa shops. That’s how this country started and people want to see that continue I think,” she said.
There are many reasons why Old Town saw good turnout for Small Business Saturday. It may be because of community support, or that Old Town charm, but perhaps Sassano summed it up the best.
“It pays to shop in Old Town Clovis,” he said. “We treat em nice.”