WEST JORDAN — Saturday, Utah shoppers turned out to support small businesses.
Small Business Saturday was born to support small, local businesses. According to a recent study, locally owned retailers return 52 percent of revenue to the local economy. That is compared to just 14 percent of revenue returned by national retailers.
American Express gives $25 back to cardholders who shop with local shops on Small Business Saturday and spend at least $25. They started the event two years ago.
The idea is to give small, locally owned businesses more exposure during hectic Thanksgiving weekend. The idea caught on, too. Last year, more than 100 million people nationwide went shopping on the day, with more expected to show this year.
At Gardner Village, a popular shopping destination, they boast local shops offering unique and one-of-a-kind items.
"It's fun for me to be able to give them the opportunity to come to work here in a small business, where maybe a larger businesses wouldn't be able to give them the smaller hours," said Denise Dubek, owner of Aunt Elsies.
Small business owners like Dubek and Joanne Albrecht, owner of Spoiled Rotten said that many of Saturday's customers mentioned they dropped by specifically because of Small Business Saturday.
"Most of the shops are independently owned, so we're all unique in that we bring in our own inventory the way we want rather than have a big purchaser buy multiples or hundreds of thousands of things that go into the big stores," Dubek said.
Patrons said that they were shopping at the small stores because they wanted unique gifts and enjoyed the atmosphere the village provides.
"There's more unique gifts here. More home made, more special, something you wouldn't find in a department store. Has a little more meaning," said Melissa Daniels.
Even President Obama participated. He and his daughters dropped by a small bookstore in Virginia, purchasing 15 books for family Christmas gifts.