By Frank Lewis
December 5, 2013
PDT Staff Writer
Black Friday and Cyber Monday appear to have been successful, but what may have gotten lost in the shuffle is the success of local businesses during last weekend’s Small Business Saturday in the downtown area of Portsmouth.
Sarah Surina, Director of Main Street Portsmouth, said the sale was a huge success.
“Shop owners were seeing double, some even tripled their sales compared to last year,” Surina said.
Among those people who experienced a big day was Rich TV and Home Center.
“Saturday capped off a great month of November,” Jesse Johnson of Rich TV said. “I was apprehensive about how much traffic we would have going in, being OSU-Michigan week and all, but I was pleasantly surprised to see so many folks out shopping. I think events like Small Business Saturday, that highlight local business, are vital in keeping it fresh in customer’s minds that there are places to shop other than the chain stores.”
Surina said the reasons for shopping locally are numerous.
“When people shop small they can discover the uniqueness of their downtown,” Surina said. “Whatever specialty store you shop in you are guaranteed to find out that the shop owner has invested in their service, which means they can work with you one on one and be customizable to your needs.”
Surina applauded the teamwork of Yost Engineering, the Chamber of Commerce, and MSP in bringing the event together.
“It was awesome!” Nancy Bays with Perfect Prints said. “Sales were good and we had people interested in my work. We had orders that day and have people getting pictures ready to come back. Certainly a good day for small businesses on Second.”
Surina said each merchant either donated a cash prize, a gift certificate or a gift item. She said she heard stories from business owners who told her they were almost wiped out of merchandise, while others saw an increase of new customers.
“The importance of shopping local is all about caring for the town you know and love,” Surina said. “For a downtown to be healthy and prosperous we all need to work together and that means helping our small business owners meet that demand.”
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.