LIMA — Local small businesses are in the spotlight this Saturday.
Many Lima downtown shops are participating in Small Business Saturday, a nationwide event originally created by American Express in 2010 to help small businesses gain exposure.
“Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is a day dedicated to supporting small businesses nationwide,” said Jacquelyn Beckner, director of communications for the Lima/Allen Chamber of Commerce. “Last year, over 100 million people came together to shop small in their communitieson Small Business Saturday.”
The Lima/Allen Chamber of Commerce promoted the day by giving away doormats to the first 100 businesses who requested one.
Some of the businesses in downtown Lima featured Saturday include The Meeting Place on Market; Nitza’s; Alter Ego Comics; ArtSpace/Lima Gift Shoppe; David’s Finery; Don Jenkins Jewelry; Fat Cat Diner; Mack Camera; Hofeller, Hiatt and Clark Menswear Specialists; Pears Avenue Boutique; The Met and Vivace Cafe.
These featured shops and restaurants offer a holiday shopping pass. As customers visit the shops, they can present the pass and get a special sticker from each location. Once a customer has stickers from at least nine of the retailers, he can turn it in for a prize drawing.
Winners for the drawing will be picked Dec. 22, and there are three prizes up for grabs.
The first is a family fun and games package. That package offers a Sunpak 8001 UT Tripod from Mack Camera, worth $60; collector’s edition Spider-Man Monopoly game, a Wonder Woman bag and a gift card from Alter Ego Comics, worth $50 apiece; plus a gourmet coffee and chocolate gift basket from The Meeting Place on Market.
The second prize, a shopping spree package, features a $50 gift certificate from Don Jenkins Jewelry; Nitza’s Boutique; Hofeller, Hiatt and Clark and The Met.
The third package is a trendy shopper package, which includes unique home and items from Pears Avenue, worth $50; plus a $50 gift card each from David’s Finery, Vivace Cafe and ArtSpace Lima.
While the shopping pass is fun, small business is serious in Lima. If every family nationwide spent an extra $10 per month with a locally-owned, independent business instead of a national chain, more than $9.3 billion would directly be returned to local economies, according to the Civic Economies Andersonville Study of Retail Economics.
“Small business is where the jobs are and where the devotion to our community is, not the major big stores,” said Nitza’s Boutique co-owner Karen Barrington. “Most folks ought to patronize the locally owned businesses because the money stays in our local economy, and it doesn’t leave. It doesn’t go somewhere else.”
The Meeting Place on Market co-owner, Jennifer Brogee, echoed that sentiment.
“When you shop at small businesses, more money stays in the local community,” she said. “Also, local businesses are more likely to buy from local suppliers and use local marketing and local services.”
Brogee said her shop did something informally last year, but she’s excited to see the turnout for the first official organized Small Business Saturday in downtown Lima.
Holiday shopping passes can be picked up at participating retailers or downloaded at www.visitdowntownlima.com. Completed passes must be turned in by Friday, Dec. 21 at the Civic Center Business Office, 7 Town Square, in Lima. The office is open Monday through Friday from noon to 5 p.m.
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