Thomasville ramps up for Small Business Saturday
Although Black Friday garners the most attention from shoppers nationwide, local small business leaders hope to see more consumers do their holiday shopping on Saturday — in Thomasville.
Small Business Saturday is a one-day event to promote businesses that are sometimes overlooked by consumers captivated by national chains.
"It's a simple way that everybody can do their little part," Croft said. "Just spend at least half your money at home."
During November, the Thomasville Area Chamber of Commerce has promoted "Spotlight on Small Business" — a campaign to help business owners and employees develop strategies to keep customers in town for the holidays.
The promotion of small business has captured national attention, as well.
Presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Barack Obama disclosed plans to grow the economy through small business. City leaders, however, outlined their vision in August during the State of the City and County address.
"Last year, the statistics showed that the average citizen spent $646 on Christmas presents," said Croft. "We did a little math and said if every adult in Thomasville were doing that — spending half of their 646 locally — it was like a $15 million impact. That's $15 million that would stay in the community."
Chamber leaders recruited local businesses for a Nov. 13 workshop and panel discussion at Davidson County Community College.
That effort drew the support of Amy Hudson, a staff member of Legends Restaurant.
"Thomasville is such a small town. We all need to realize the small businesses here are what keeps this town in business. Places like our restaurant are where you see friends, family and people you go to church with from the community.
“One of the things we talked about is that not everybody understands is how much talent is available here in Thomasville. You don't have to go outside the area to find talented, local (merchants). We have talent in our own backyard."
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, the private sector added 171,000 jobs in October.
Croft and Thomasville Mayor Joe Bennett have emphasized that Thomasville’s economic growth likely will come from small business development.
Staff Writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 888-3575, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a part of Small Business Saturday, Shred-Safe and the Thomasville Area Chamber of Commerce will co-sponsor a "Shred-a-Thon" from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 24.
A mobile shredding service will be set up at the downtown clock tower parking lot in Thomasville. Members of the community — residential or commercial — may bring up to 50 pounds of material for the event.