When is the last time you shopped in a store that wanted your business, REALLY wanted your business, and was grateful when they got it?
For me - that experience was today.
After Black Friday comes Small Business Saturday. This year, a number of local businesses here in the Binghamton, NY area banded together to cross-promote their businesses at what they called the local North Pole. The weather matched the holiday mood, with snow flurries and wind.
Thanks to Small Business Saturday I visited several local small businesses for the first time. At each, I was treated like a valued customer, with smiles and thank you's. At several, I received personalized service and unexpected discounts. At one, I even was able to take advantage of free gift wrap.
I was pleased to see that many other people were taking advantage of the local shopping day today.
Fresh Start Market is so named because they were flooded out (in September, 2011) of the location in Owego they operated out of for 16 years. Like so many of us, they managed to survive the floods caused by Tropical Storm Lee. They reopened, bigger and better and featured (besides the normal "health food store" stock) locally produced foods.
Country Additions Gift Shop pleasantly surprised me with a selection of items made in the USA, including some made right here in New York State. (I also appreciated the chocolate samples - thanks!)
Hillside Garden Center gave us an especially warm welcome and 50% off some of their plants. We picked up a variegated rosemary plant, not hardy in our zone 5b area (no rosemary is) but we will try to overwinter it indoors.
And, at Ruby and Sons, a local 3rd generation jewelry store (and, incidentally, owned by a woman), I am going to get a wedding band resized - a band that means so much to me.
Was there a Small Business Saturday in your area? Or are you a small business owner that would like to share your experience?