Holiday shoppers across South Florida took part in Small Business Saturday. The annual one day event celebrates local businesses and encourages people to shop big at small stores.
The shopping holiday was created by American Express 11 years ago.
Business owner Mark Denkler Beach said the event was a success following a tough loss a few months ago due to the pandemic.
“We lost two of our four biggest months March and April when we closed down. The summer is really slow anyway being a seasonal town like we are,” Denkler said.
He explained Small Business Saturday has been an opportunity to cash in and recoup. “I’m already ahead 30% for the day, I’m happy. We were up almost 40% yesterday, so people are responding to the sales that we’re having,” he said.
The supportive spirit is also being felt a few doors down at the the Avalon Art Gallery where co-owner Mavis Benson said shoppers have stepped up and made a difference.
“They have been there for us and when I say overwhelming I can’t express enough our gratitude and our thanks for the way they have come out and supported us,” she said.
Both owners added they are not only greatful for the shoppers but also for the city which has pitched in to help.
New this year, the Downtown Development Authority gave away limited edition handmade ornaments to shoppers who spent $200 or more. The city has also created an online holiday gift guide which includes gift ideas for everyone in the family.
“This brings visitors to the downtown and encourages them to shop here eat here drink here and support our economy support our economic vitality” said Marusca Gatto with the Downtown Development Authority.