November 21, 2012

Shop locally this weekend: Downtown promotes 'Small Business Saturday'

By Carrie Dillard
Managing Editor

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — You’ve heard of Black Friday, but have you heard of Small Business Saturday?

The Saturday following Thanksgiving was first heralded as “Small Business Saturday” by American Express in 2010. The credit card company wanted to help small businesses get more exposure during one of the biggest shopping weekends of the year. Since then many communities throughout the U.S. are trying to find ways to promote “shopping small,” and London is no exception.

“Money spent in locally-owned businesses have three times the impact on the local community,” said Chris Robinson, executive director of London Downtown.  “This creates a snowball effect in our local economy.”

Per the general rule of thumb, a small business is one with 49 or fewer employees.  Owners of small businesses often know their customers personally and are especially suited to meet local needs.

Some of the local businesses participating in Small Business Saturday include Bob’s Ready to Wear, Paperdolls Ladies Boutique, Hill Street Loft, Soothing Touch, Benqueil’s Jewelry, Carousel Florist, Posh Boutique and the Rock Bottom Soap Company, which is new to downtown London. Owner Amy Henson recently opened a space on East Fourth Street in order to sell her own goat soap line that has been around for about a year now.  

Robinson encouraged the local community to support both new businesses, such as Rock Bottom Soap Company, and existing businesses like Bob’s Ready to Wear, that has been located in downtown London for more than 50 years.

“Small, locally owned businesses drive our economy both locally and nationally,” Robinson said.  “More excitingly, they create excitement, provide unique experiences, and keep our communities alive through individuality and entrepreneurial spirit.”

For a list of all participating businesses, visit and click on Downloads.

Small businesses are touted for being the biggest job creators in our economy. According to Automatic Data Processing Inc., of the 216,000 new jobs created in February this year, 108,000 or more than half were created by businesses with 49 or fewer employees.

“In years to come, Small business Saturday will become the biggest day of the year for small business in America,” Robinson said.  “The campaign is doing a tremendous job in gaining exposure and making people take notice.  If those with the means to shop make at least one small purchase at a locally owned business, that would be impact in itself. “

Shop small, shop locally on Saturday, Nov. 24.