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Outlook bright for Small Business Saturday

MARSHALL — It’s not all “doom and gloom” for small retailers this Christmas shopping season when it comes to competing with the big box stores and Amazon.

That’s how Lyle Patzer feels about the 10th annual Small Business Saturday which is promoted by American Express. Patzer owns Patzer’s Hardware Hank in downtown Marshall — a business that goes back 52 years in Marshall.

“I think there is a lot of good news, good prosperous businesses on Main Street,” Patzer said. “I think small businesses are unique enough to tailor to our local customer and a lot of people appreciate that and will support us. I think there is enough to go around.”

An average of 67 cents of every dollar spent at a small business in the U.S. ends up staying in that local community, according to American Express. The Shop Small Consumer Impact Survey from American Express found that when consumers are aware of their impact, 75% say they would be more likely to purchase a product or service from a small independently owned business.

“Over the past 9 years, consumers reported spending more than $100 billion at small businesses on Small Business Saturday. Based on that reported spend, and taking into account that an average of two-thirds of every dollar spent at a small business stays in that community, an estimated $67 billion has stayed local on Small Business Saturday, helping communities thrive,” the American Express press release stated.

Coco Avenue owner Laura Guza-Antony believes uniqueness of products helps small retailers.

“I feel in a boutique you are getting something a little unique. It’s something you probably can’t find at a big store. When I do order, I have things not on Amazon,” Guza-Antony said.

Terry Haas with Bot Appliance/Poppin’ Tags says sales might not be as good as last year because farmers had a rough growing season, but he’s still optimistic.

“The big thing is that everybody can save money at a big box store until you run into a problem. Then when you got a problem, you have to think — now what do I do? Big box stores don’t take care of them like the mom and pop shops do,” Haas said.

Brad Cool at Mister Cool’s Clothing expects good sales on Small Business Saturday. He feels people rather shop for clothes at a store than online.

“Clothes are a little different than ordering a widget (online). Every brand is different. If you order a widget, you don’t have to worry if it fits or not. You order the right widget, it’s going to be the right widget. With clothes, it’s nice to feel the material and see how it looks,” Cool said.

Chad Kulla with the Bike Shop feels more people will stay in Marshall to shop because of the winter weather this weekend.

“I think it will be really good for us downtown,” Kulla said.

“We recognize the hardships faced by small business owners today and want to inspire people to take notice and Shop Small to support their communities on Small Business Saturday and beyond,” said Elizabeth Rutledge, chief marketing officer at American Express. “Retail is changing, but local shops are the fabric of our communities, helping them to thrive in the future is part of our brand ethos and backing promise.”

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