Posted at: 11/25/2012 12:23 AM
By: Dan Levy
SARATOGA SPRINGS - A few years ago, most Americans had likely never heard of Cyber Monday but now they'd argue it's giving the big boys of brick and mortar a good run for the holiday sales money.
Now, small business owners want IN the game, and there are signs their Small Business Saturday campaign is gaining traction in the world of retail.
If you're going to shop, think mom and pop. That's the seed that local merchants are trying to plant into the psyche of holiday shoppers. It's a marketing strategy that seems to be paying dividends.
"We've had a lot of customers come in today," said Marie Hattan, of the Saratoga Saddlery on Broadway. "We've had a lot of traffic and people seem very interested in the store. It's been wonderful."
Shoppers were coming in right up until the 9:00 P.M. closing time Saturday night.
"I probably spend about a third of my time in smaller stores and two-thirds in larger stores," said Audrey Stout, visiting the city from Colorado. "I think the prices might be a little bit higher but it's definitely worth it to support the small businesses."
Business owners like to remind people that money spent locally stays local.
"I think people are interested in quality," Hattan reiterated. "People want to buy things that are of great quality and I think small businesses do provide that service. I think small business is the backbone of the economy. They hire people for the season and help the economy a great deal."
Mohammed Amin agrees. He's been operating the Hamada International Bazaar for seven years and says Saturday has become more profitable for him then Black Friday.
"The racing season is not enough to carry on until the winter," Amin says, "So we need a little kick during the holidays."