Hundreds of shops to participate in Small Business Saturday in Denver

Local retailers in Denver hope to pull customers away from big box stores and online sellers during Small Business Saturday.

Talulah Jones owner Robin Lohre smiles from behind the counter. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)
Talulah Jones owner Robin Lohre smiles from behind the counter. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)
Talulah Jones owner Robin Lohre smiles from behind the counter. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Local retailers in Denver hope to pull customers away from big box stores and online sellers during Small Business Saturday.

Hundreds of stores are participating in the shopping holiday sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Buying clothes, furniture, toys and other goods from small shops in Denver offers “a better economic return” for customers than spending at the Walmarts, Amazons and Best Buys of the world, said Kelly Brough, CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce.

“When you shop at a small business, you see that money go into hands of people who live in your neighborhood, and they respend it here. Or their employees respend it here,” Brough said.

One oft-cited study found that for every $100 spent at a local firm, $68 remains in the community.

Ninety-eight percent of the companies in Colorado are small businesses with less than 100 employees. Altogether these shops and firms employ nearly 1 million people, according to the chamber of commerce. Those liquor stores, salons and other shops might be overlooked during the year, so Small Business Saturday is reminder to patronize them, Brough said.

“When we face a recession, small businesses are often the last to lay off employees. And though they’re slow at growth, they’re very sustainable,” she said. “Supporting small businesses in Colorado is just critical to who we are and our economic success.”

American Express is credited with starting Small Business Saturday in 2010. The giant credit card company provides marketing materials to shops and business groups and features some of the participating retailers and restaurants on its website.

Other events scheduled for the day include an Artisan’s Market at the Globeville Riverfront Art Center from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; a Denver Handmade Homemade Holiday Market at the Denver Bicycle Cafe from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.; the 3rd Annual Tennyson St. Small Business Holiday Passport Crawl along Tennyson Street from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and a kick-off event featuring Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and other community leaders at The Preservery from 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

Or you can just spend some money at the local stores you love. Denver was ranked the third-best city for finding gifts at local businesses in a Yelp survey released Tuesday.

Nationally, more people — 58 percent of the 1,653 surveyed — know about Small Business Saturday this year than ever before, according to American Express.

“Of those who are aware of Small Business Saturday and planning to shop and dine on the day, two-thirds (67 percent) say that they plan to spend at least $100 at small businesses,” according to the 2016 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey.

The National Retail Federation’s asked 7,206 shoppers their plans for Thanksgiving weekend — 47 percent said they plan to shop Saturday. Twenty-four percent said they will be doing so specifically to support Small Business Saturday.

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Business & data reporter Adrian D. Garcia can be reached via email at agarcia@denverite.com or twitter.com/adriandgarcia.

Adrian D. Garcia

Author: Adrian D. Garcia

Adrian D. Garcia covers business and trends for Denverite. He's covered business for The Fort Collins Coloradoan and serves as treasurer for the Colorado chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.