Local shops ready for Small Business Saturday

By Aimee Hancock

SIDNEY — The day after Thanksgiving, also known as Black Friday, has long been considered a day designated for shopping.

However, there is a newer shopping holiday that continues to grow in popularity. Small Business Saturday originated in 2010 and is celebrated the Saturday following Thanksgiving.

Created by American Express, Small Business Saturday is a way to support local businesses by bringing more holiday shopping — and revenue — to small shops and stores.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, as of 2017, there are 939,317 small businesses in Ohio, employing around 2.1 million Ohioans.

“Small businesses are the heart and soul of our membership,” Jeff Raible, president of the Sidney-Shelby County Chamber of Commerce, said in a prepared statement. “Eighty-six percent of our member organizations employ less than 50 people and 77 percent employ less than 25.”

To find local small businesses and to learn more about Small Business Saturday, readers can go to www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/shop-small/. The website features an interactive map, which pinpoints 100 small businesses in the Sidney area. These range from restaurants, to auto body shops, to hair salons and spas.

Raible spoke of the importance of showing appreciation for the local operations that give so much to their communities.

“As advocates for small business, we would like to see as many people as possible go out and support, not just on Small Business Saturday, but all year-round,” he said.

According to American Express, the participation in Small Business Saturday increases each year. AmEx estimates 112 million people participated nationwide in 2016, generating around $15.4 billion in revenue.

One small business on the list is Sidney Flower Shop, 111 E. Russell Road.

According to Nancy Kohlhorst, co-owner along with husband, Jim, the Sidney Flower Shop first opened in 1901. In 1949, the shop was acquired by the Kohlhorst family, and Jim and Nancy have been running it since 1979.

Kohlhorst said she is appreciative of the recognition that Small Business Saturday brings to local shops.

“It’s hard to promote small business,” she said. “I think American Express has done a great job. It’s what this country needs.”

Kohlhorst said she will have a sale during Small Business Saturday for 50 percent off all Christmas and fall decor, which will continue through the season.

While Kohlhorst was aware of her business’s presence on the AmEx website, other businesses were pleasantly surprised to learn their shops are being promoted.

Nate Davis, son of Davis Meats owner, Ted, said he was unaware that AmEx added the shop to its interactive map, but was appreciative nonetheless.

“I am grateful that they do that,” Davis said. “I think it’s fantastic.”

Davis Meats, 1243 Wapakoneta Ave., first opened 25 years ago. Davis said the business is a family affair, with brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews all having worked at the shop at one time or another.

Davis Meats will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Small Business Saturday.

By Aimee Hancock

Reach the writer at 937-538-4825.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4825.