The Second Knob Gifts & Antiques

Don’t Let Black Friday Overshadow Small Business Saturday

Posted by  //  November 20, 2017  //  Local Business

By Shana Karn, Co-Owner, The Second Knob Gifts & Antiques, 129 North St. Dryden

During our first year in business (2011), I had a huge sale planned for the day after Thanksgiving. I would open early, supply coffee and donuts and offer sales that would bring in customers from all over… After all, “Black Friday” is infamous— the day when even the hesitant shoppers are out in full force vying for “door buster” deals and “limited quantities” of the latest and greatest (or most sought after) gifts of the impending holiday season.

I was giddy just thinking about how much fun our first Black Friday would be as I put out two cookie trays, donuts and hot coffee at 6am that Friday morning despite the chaos of fixing Thanksgiving dinner (and cleaning up after Thanksgiving dinner) the day before. I plugged in the lit Christmas trees, turned up the Christmas carols and set out sale signs on most items in the shop.

When a rush of customers didn’t appear at the door by 7am, I began to wonder what was going on. I’d run ads. I’d told all of our customers to come in for the “celebration.” Where were they? Within hours, all of the anticipation and pre-meditated elation had dimmed. We were not going to have a record-breaking day after all…unless it was for fewest sales.

By noon, stragglers who had braved massive crowds at the malls and big box stores popped in; a few made purchases but most just shared stories of the “huge” deals they got or missed in the wee hours of the morning.

By 6pm, the coffee was nasty, the donuts stale and the cookie trays had long since been put away into air-tight containers…and my Dad and I were disappointed.

In 2011, Small Business Saturday was in it’s infancy; the first Small Business Saturday had come and gone the year before but with little fanfare.  Being new to the world of retail, we’d had a lot to learn during our first year in business and it wasn’t until the following year that we learned more about and became invested in the new “Small Business Saturday” movement. It was as though the heavens parted— it was a day dedicated to shops like ours.

During our second year in business, I spent more time focusing on Small Business Saturday as the holidays approached. I gave little thought to Black Friday but still insisted on extended hours that day and coffee for weary shoppers. Neither of which, by the way,  helped bring customers into the store… But, Small Business Saturday took on a life of it’s own— and it made people pay more attention to small businesses and the benefits of shopping small.

So, WHY SHOP SMALL?

There are so many reasons to shop small businesses— employment opportunities, investment in community, expert advice, generosity, and even better customer service.

For the sake of time, let’s focus on what small business GIVES BACK… Did you know that, for every $100 you spend at a local small business establishment, $43 goes directly back into the community. When you give your business to a national chain, only $13 return to your community.

I don’t think people realize the extent to which small businesses in our community do give back…I know that, prior to becoming a business owner, I didn’t. So what is the extent of our reach?

Between monetary donations, gift donations, & photography donations, we give and give and give back to the community— this year we gave to local schools (Dryden, Groton and Cortland), we sold candy bars for Dryden Wrestlers, we donated to community centers and the community cafe, we donated to “benefits” for individuals and families, we gave to Suicide Prevention, Dryden Senior All Night Extravaganza, The Groton After Prom Party, Senior Bizarres, and more. We  hosted collections and fundraisers for families displaced in a fire, photographed several school (and club) related events at no charge and made donations of time and money to community projects. We did fundraisers for girl scouts, all night prom parties and dancers—giving 20% back on sales of gift certificates or store merchandise. This is something that bigger stores and chain restaurants DO NOT DO FOR OUR COMMUNITY. In addition to what we gave monetarily— we gave our time, our space, our energy and, often, our heart.

And, here’s the thing…

We aren’t sharing this information for thanks or appreciation. We are just one of many small businesses in our community who give back regularly and generously. We share this information to demonstrate the importance of small business in communities and to encourage your to consider where you are spending your money this holiday season and who will benefit from your spending. You can support chain stores or big box stores and the high paid CEOs will be happy. Of course, you will never hear from them and they won’t be giving to your favorite local cause – but never the less, you can brag that you saved “big” on that television or game system or blender…. OR you can save you big spending for small business and know that a percentage of what you are spending is coming back to the community in all kinds of ways! The choice is yours…

On Small Business Saturday (11/25), we will open at 10:30 and be open until 5:30! We will have cupcakes from Carpenter’s Cupcakes (also, local!) for you to enjoy and we will have some great giveaways and big sales for you and we have tons of new merchandise hitting the floor this week, which you won’t want to miss!

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