Anita Simpson

Anita Simpson

As the holiday shopping season begins, people are reminded that what they’re looking for can be found close to home through such events as Small Business Saturday, which takes place Nov. 30 and features stores around downtown hosting sales or providing discounts to shoppers.

City of Waxahachie Downtown Development Director Anita Simpson said supporting events like Small Business Saturday supports merchants that regularly support the community through their generosity.

“Black Friday is the day that everyone shops the big boxes, which is the day after Thanksgiving,” she told the Sun. “This is the 10th anniversary of Small Business Saturday. It is to encourage people to shop small independent retailers.

“Merchants have reported increased sales every year for that day for Small Business Saturday over the previous Small Business Saturday,” she said. “I think that the public is really catching on and they are internalizing the story.”

Simpson notes that 67 cents of every dollar spent with an independent retailer stays in the community. With a big box store, about 40 cents stays in the community of every dollar spent, while with online shopping, typically none stays in the community, she said.

“Merchants are always having good sales that day,” Simpson said. “Almost everything that I wear comes from my downtown merchants. I do most of my shopping downtown. My gifts come from downtown stores. I eat at the downtown restaurants.

“This is really a bonus,” she said of Small Business Saturday. “I shop them anyways but I can get a lot more for my dollar because they are usually having pretty good sales.”

Small Business Saturday was founded by American Express in 2010 as a way to encourage people to support the businesses that make up a town or city’s core. Since 2019, Small Business Saturday spending has reached a reported $103 billion.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses are the nation’s leading employer, employing more than 50-percent of the U.S. working population and making up 99.7 percent of the nation’s employer firms.

“It is the small businesses that donate to your church auction or your child’s baseball team or all those causes like Be A Santa To A Senior,” Simpson said. “It is your small businesses and your community people that donate to those things that keep our community happy and healthy. “Whereas the big box stores, there is so much bureaucracy to get a donation from them, that most organizations don’t even attempt it,” she said.

To encourage people to support downtown businesses on Small Business Saturday, the Waxahachie Main Street Program has partnered with The Arcade. For every receipt showing at least a $10 purchase from a downtown business, a shopper will get 10 minutes of free gameplay at The Arcade. This promotion is good from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Nov. 30. Receipts from downtown businesses from Black Friday, Nov. 29, will be honored as well.

The Arcade in the basement of the Rogers Hotel, which is at 100 N. College St in downtown Waxahachie.

Information about Small Business Saturday can be found on the American Express website at Simpson can be reached at Waxahachie City for additional information about the event or to answer questions at 469-309-4000.

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