Some Kentuckians speak out on Small Business Saturdays
LA GRANGE, Ky. – Small Business Saturday is this weekend of November 27th. It’s a day dedicated to supporting local businesses in communities across the United States. Spectrum News 1 spoke to people at La Grange, which has a historic downtown area with lots of locals – owned by small businesses about what it means for a local shopping community.
For two and a half years, Ernesto Jamies served margaritas at his Mexican restaurant on Main Street in La Grange, just outside of Louisville.
The 36-year-old chose the city’s historic downtown for his restaurant, Ernesto’s Mexican Cuisine, because the location reminds him of the plaza in his hometown, Limón Terrero, Mexico.
“People always meet there. It’s like a family reunion every weekend, ”Jamies told Spectrum News 1.
Historic downtown La Grange has over 40 local businesses, from restaurants to shops, which are most likely to see an influx of small business Saturday shoppers. With more foot traffic, Ernesto’s Mexican cuisine will likely benefit.
Within walking distance of Main Street is PB&J Stuff, a local store that sells “stuff,” such as crafts and many items made in Kentucky. The store is owned by Jaime Bowling and her husband, nicknamed “Perfect Bobby”, hence the nickname “PB&J Stuff”.
Opened almost eight months ago, the door hangers are the store’s bestsellers, which Jaime and her husband make themselves.
“We can customize things. People come in and say, “Oh, I really don’t like it like that. I’m like ‘OK, well, I’ll make it different for you.’ You can’t get this when you go to a big box store. You’re going to get what you get, and you don’t have a fit. Here, you want it. We’re getting there, ”Bowling exclaimed.
Shannon Williams was shopping in PB&J Stuff while visiting Spectrum News 1. She said she plans to only buy Christmas gifts from local small businesses this year.
“Why not help our own friends? I mean, first we have to create our own community, ”explained Williams.
According to a 2019 Small Business Saturday consumer opinion survey, for every $ 100 spent in a local small business, $ 48 goes into the local economy. When shopping at a big box store or national retailer, give back $ 14 to the economy.
David Bizianes, president of the Oldham County Chamber of Commerce, explained that small businesses contribute more to their communities than money.
“Ultimately, you create and contribute to what the overall culture of a region is,” Bizianes said. “It’s something you don’t do as effectively when going to a big box or ordering online. I mean, I think every time you get an Amazon order that we’re guilty of and we get these things too, you’re missing out on an opportunity to go out and interact with someone who is making an impact in the community.
Bowling told Spectrum News 1 that she didn’t know what buying local really looked like until she owned her own business.
“Because it doesn’t just fit in the pocket of a CEO, if you will,” Bowling said. “It feeds my children; it helps me dress them. It’s making the payment for our house. I’ll just be honest.
So for those who like to know who owns a neighborhood restaurant or who makes the holiday gifts at a local store, they also need to buy local to keep the locals going.
If you plan to buy locally for the holidays or anytime, Bizianes recommends that you bring cash for a possible discount with your purchase. He explained that there is always an opportunity to negotiate prices when dealing directly with a small business.