Small business Saturday set for Nov. 25

File Photo A gift is wrapped during last year’s Small Business Saturday. The small businesses of the Mid-Ohio Valley are gearing up for this year’s even on Nov. 25.

PARKERSBURG — People around the Mid-Ohio Valley will be able to discover many small businesses in their own area and see everything they have to offer during Small Business Saturday on Nov. 25.

The annual shopping day, dedicated to getting people to frequent the small businesses in their communities, was started in 2010 by American Express. It is between Black Friday, when large retailers roll out their big holiday sales, and Cyber Monday when many online retailers offer holiday deals.

According to the Small Business Administration’s West Virginia District Director Karen Friel, small businesses create two of every three new net private-sector jobs in the United States. This spurs economic development in communities across this country, she said.

“In West Virginia, small businesses make up nearly 99 percent of all employers in the state,” Friel said. “And by shopping small, we are able to support those who fund our workforce.

“And finally, shopping small really packs a big punch to our economy. Last year, shoppers were reported to have spent $15.4 billion at independent retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday.”

From small boutiques which sell clothing and jewelry to shops that offer sporting goods, antiques, home decor, flowers, books, furniture and more, small business provide their communities with many goods and services throughout the year. They can be restaurants, cafes and bistros, pharmacies, photography businesses and more.

Many offer special deals and discounts that day to encourage people to come in and see what they have available.

“We have many locally owned small businesses in the Mid-Ohio Valley, and while we hope that consumers frequent them all throughout the year, Small Business Saturday is a great day to celebrate and support these retailers and all they do for the community,” said Jill Parsons, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of the Mid-Ohio Valley. “By employing our friends and neighbors, they support the economic vitality of the area through payroll and employee benefits. By purchasing goods and services locally, small businesses support other local small businesses.”

Parsons is encouraging people to get out and see what is available locally.

“So, pick at least one small business retailer, maybe one you’ve heard of and never had the chance to stop by,” she said. “Visit them on Small Business Saturday, and thank them for doing business in the Mid-Ohio Valley.”

In Marietta, the Marietta Area Chamber of Commerce has joined in a partnership with the Marietta/Washington County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Clutch MOV and Marietta Main Street to encourage the community’s participation for Small Business Saturday, said Morgan Brown, member services manager with the Marietta Chamber. More than 40 businesses will participate.

Area business representatives will be handing out bags with coupons, Marietta Bucks and offers to shoppers who are out and about that Saturday.

The goal is not only to get shoppers to come down that day, but encourage people to do business with small local businesses all year long, Brown said.

“We want to show that small businesses have everything they need,” she said. “Without small businesses, we would not have as good of an economy locally.”

In Belpre, there will be more than 20 retail businesses, services and nonprofits partnering to encourage shoppers to investigate the retail, tourism and service stops in the local area, said Karen Waller, executive director of the Belpre Area Chamber of Commerce.

These include Neff’s Country Loft, Bob’s Market, Bellaire’s Bistro, Unicorn Wine Guild, Fruth Pharmacy, Back to Basics Log Cabin, Wendy’s of Belpre, Giovanni’s, Smitty’s Pizza, Peddlers Junction, Sew Happy Quilting Traditions, Changed Plate at Memorial Health System, Givens Trading Post, Comic Sense, Village Cakery, Jill Kirtland Photography, Play It Again Sports, May Clay Pottery, White Oak Pharmacy, Hendershot Motorsports, Subway of Belpre, Main and Farson Street Car Washes, Inspire 111, Circa Home Decor and Design, Belpre Furniture, Zynergy Massage, Napoli’s of Belpre, Point Park Marketplace, Hickory Grove, Utah Dave’s Golf Shoppe and Kroger of Belpre.

“Small Business Saturday is a great way to draw attention to the treasures that shoppers can find in smaller, local stores, restaurants and services,” Waller said. “The national advertising through American Express brings lots of attention to the effort across the country, and it only makes sense for us as a business advocate to capitalize on that exposure.

“Our member businesses work hard every day to provide the products that customers want, and often it is a challenge just to stay open in light of competition from bigger stores and online shopping.”

Small Business Saturday is a great chance for people to get out and see what is available right in their own community, whether a unique gift item, food or other products and services, Waller said.

“Our members are located in Parkersburg, Marietta, Vincent, Barlow and throughout Belpre,” she said. “Give them a chance on Saturday and every day to show you what you can purchase with easy parking, personal service and no shipping charges.”