The Cooperstown and Otsego County chambers of commerce, along with project partners, have teamed up this year to encourage the success of this week’s Small Business Saturday.
Otsego County Chamber of Commerce President Barbara Ann Heegan said her encouragement of Small Business Saturday in the area is part of a campaign called Think Local First that she and Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Patricia Szarpa spearheaded together. Heegan said the campaign is a movement to showcase and celebrate local small businesses.
Small Business Saturday, in its fourth year, is part of a nationwide attempt led by American Express to encourage shopping locally rather than at big-name departments stores this holiday season. According to American Express, when people shop locally 52 percent of the money spent stays in the community and is recycled.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our community,” Heegan said.
Main Street Oneonta program manager Julia Goff said the businesses in downtown Oneonta do a lot throughout the year to get involved in the community, donating and participating whenever possible.
“Small Business Saturday is an opportunity to show our appreciation to local businesses for all that they do to make our community such a special, close-knit one,” Goff said.
The event is growing every year because people are seeing the benefits of supporting the local economy, Heegan said. Shoppers also do not want to travel far away to make their purchases.
“I have had many customers this year say that they were going to shop locally,” said Deb Lake, manager and executive director of The Artisans’ Guild in Oneonta.
Lake said she has a sign posted on the door of her shop promoting Small Business Saturday and that she thinks it’s a great idea. She said prices in her store are already as low as possible, but there will be lots of beautiful new things in the store for that day.