PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Forget those suburban shopping malls, crowded parking lots, and big-box stand-alone retail stores.
Tomorrow is Small Business Saturday, an important day for your neighborhood shopkeeper.
“Within the bookstore community, Small Business Saturday is our first or second busiest day of the year. So it’s really important for us,” Adlai Yeomans told KDKA money editor Jon Delano on Friday.
Yeomans and his wife Jill own White Whale Bookstore in Bloomfield.
Besides free coffee, bagels, and donuts on Saturday, look for the deals.
“We’re doing 50 percent off all used books. And then if you spend $50 or more, we have a couple really great raffles,” said Yeomans. “We’re raffling away some of our own White Whale merchandise. We’re also doing some signed first editions of really great books that got donated by some of the publishers.”
Bloomfield is one of many Pittsburgh neighborhoods trying to attract customers back into smaller shops.
“Keeping money in your community and among your neighbors is really great, but also small businesses are the fabric of livable neighborhoods,” said Jodi Lincoln, secretary of the Bloomfield Development Corporation.
Lincoln said Bloomfield’s festivities on Saturday begin at Spill the Wine Bar with a list of all the local deals in the neighborhood.
By offering free wine samples, owner Jim Sattler hopes that will lead to purchases of his 38 different Italian wines.
“We encourage everyone to taste before they buy,” said Sattler. “It’s great to buy local. It’s great to buy from small businesses.”
Thirty million people will spend $18 billion on Saturday, said Duquesne University marketing professor Audrey Guskey.
“You get great customer service. It’s your neighbors that are taking care of you,” said Guskey. “The money is staying there, as well as it is a great shot in the arm for the community, and it builds a lot of community spirit.”
Plus the owners are often your neighbors.
“The owners are so often in the shop there working whenever it’s open, and we have some fantastic owners who everybody in the neighborhood knows,” noted Lincoln.
Here’s another good reason to shop Small Business Saturday, at least in the city of Pittsburgh.
All parking fees downtown will be waived. However, parking garages will not be free.
Mayor Bill Peduto said about two-thirds of every dollar spent at a local business stays in our local economy.
You can go online to check out all the local businesses that are having special activities and deals.