Small Business Saturday, a national shopping holiday that encourages shoppers to patronize locally owned brick-and-mortar businesses, has expanded in East Texas to include restaurants, tattoo parlors, hair salons, jewelers, veterinary hospitals and other businesses in Longview and nearby cities.
Within downtown Longview, 14 diverse small businesses are participating in a promotion Saturday offering customers who spend at least $15 at a participating business a chance to win a prize package worth more than $500.
The price package will contain gift cards and gift baskets, said Mary Wood, who co-owns State of Mind at 105 W. Tyler St. with her mother, Amelia Bishop. Customers need to bring receipts to State of Mind, with the winner to be announced next week.
“Traditionally, it’s retailers” that participate in Small Business Saturday, said Wood, whose shop opened in September 2018. “We want to support all of downtown, and a lot of the new downtown businesses are restaurants and are doing great.”
Wood said State of Mind registered for the event on the online map of American Express, which created Small Business Saturday, now in its 10th year.
Participating businesses, in turn, offer promotions, such as giveaways and discounts on merchandise and services.
The event is designed to support small businesses that cannot compete with major retailers in pricing but offer more customer service, supporters said. A side benefit is that revenues from sales stay within the community instead of going to distant corporate offices.
“The big thing is all of the big-box stores are price-oriented,” said Jim Bartlett, owner of Jim Bartlett Fine Jewelry on Judson Road. “It is also about the cheapest price. They are just interested in getting you in and out (of the stores).”
Bartlett, who has been in business for 40 years, said, “We focus on quality. We try to carry the very best.”
His store will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.
The Brown Duck, an outdoors-oriented clothing store on Judson Road, will observe Small Business Saturday with discounts on merchandise not already reduced in price, manager Morgan Hicks said. Store hours will be 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“It’s going to be an all-day thing,” Hicks said. “Hopefully, it goes real well.”
In downtown Longview, Copper Tree Retreat on Fredonia Street will offer three giveaways on Small Business Saturday, Director of Operations Rachel Rowe said.
“We are really happy to be part of that (Small Business Saturday),” she said. “We love to give back to the community that has supported us.”
Copper Tree, in business since October 2018, will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, as will most of the shops, according to Wood.