MANNINGTON – Saturday will be the biggest sales day of the year for the Mustard Seed Gift Shop.
The gift shop’s owner, Sara Reel, also owns the restaurant Baby B’s BBQ next door. She is expecting both businesses to get a boost this year thanks to Small Business Saturday.
“Small Business Saturday is this store’s biggest shopping day of the year,” Reel said. “Last year was my first year here, and I was busy non-stop all day long.”
Credit card giant American Express started Small Business Saturday on Nov. 27, 2010 to help small businesses get additional exposure and to change the way consumers shop within their own community during the holidays. In 2017, its estimated that shoppers spent $12.9 billion on Small Business Saturday.
Main Street Mannington is promoting the city’s small businesses and several of them downtown will offer specials and deals in observance of the special day.
“They have done videos, the coordinator for Main Street has been around to each of the businesses,” Reel said. “They have made videos of our stores and they have done a great job with it.”
Celebrated the Saturday after Thanksgiving, the pseudo-holiday can drive sales at small businesses through the increased attention.
“The movement is to build on last year’s success and rally even more communities to come together in support of small businesses,” said Nikki Bowmar, public affairs specialist for the West Virginia district office of the U.S. Small Business Administration. “It’s really to help small businesses get customers through the door which is really what they need most.”
According to Bowmar, there are 113,410 small businesses in West Virginia, and they employ 50 percent of the private workforce in the state. Bowmar said shopping at small businesses helps keep thousands of people employed, including the business owners.
“Most of the small businesses that we sent out to said this is when they make most of their money,” Bowmar said. “After the holiday season, it slows down quite a bit, so the more they can get now helps to sustain them throughout the year.”
In Mannington, Small Business Saturday events begin at 8 a.m., when several of the stores will have doorbuster deals. The participating businesses, as listed by Main Street Mannington, include Mustard Seed, Baby B’s BBQ, Nativibes, Miller’s Hardware, Something Special and Mountaineer Florist and Gifts, which will all have special sales to commemorate Small Business Saturday.
There will also be Christmas displays downtown, along with events there and at Mannington Middle School and North Marion High.
Reel said her business feels the love of loyal customers who frequent the shop on a regular basis. She said the culture of small business is one of peer promotion, and those who own businesses in Mannington support one another.
“Most of my loyal people are right here in Mannington, they know and they’ll shop here instead of out-of-town,” Reel said. “We work well here in town, like if I don’t carry something I’ll send them down to the primatives store, they do the same. That’s what’s great about our downtown.”
For Reel, Small Business Saturday is also a good time to bring new people to her businesses, because of the added recognition Small Business Saturday brings. She is preparing for another busy day, and looks forward to greeting customers new and old.
“I think it’s great to support small business because it brings people to our downtown,” Reel said. “Little gift shops like mine, people may not even know it’s here. But because it’s a national event, the same time every year, they’ll come into downtown because of that.”
For more information on Mannington’s Small Business Saturday happenings, visit Main Street Mannington’s Facebook page