By Frank Lewis
Small businesses are often referred to as the backbone of America, with good reason. A closer look tells us they have kept the local economy alive in communities all across the nation for centuries. So, it’s fitting that a day is set aside to urge people to shop small.
Small Business Saturday, this year it’s on Nov. 28, was created by American Express. Downtown Portsmouth businesses have joined with Main Street Portsmouth to call attention to the need to shop locally and small.
One of the busiest places on Saturday was Ghosts in the Attic.
“The importance of shopping Small Business Saturday is getting people out to buy from small local businesses to keep our local economy going,” Sharon Bender said. “It brings a lot of people out. National advertising by American Express really highlights it and lets everyone know small businesses are out here. We’re trying to make a living and we’re doing really well. But it makes them realize how important it is to shop locally.”
Bender said one of the attractions of shopping locally is the selection of unique items you find anywhere else.
“Everything is different. The inventory changes daily,” Bender said. “It’s not a stock item. It’s not something you can just get on ebay or Amazon and order like a case of this and a case of that. It’s all things that have been bought individually. And when they’re gone, they’re gone.”
Bender began to look around the store at the huge selection.
“Everyone can find something they want,” Bender said. “It may not be big. They could buy a piece of jewelry. They could buy a post card, a book, hats, old vintage clothing, furniture. There are antique kitchen items, lamps. It goes on and on and on.”
Gary Kenyon had really decorated up for the holidays at the River Town Antique Mall.
“To get it all filled up and get all the vendors in here it was about three months,” Kenyon said.
Kenyon echoed Bender’s view that uniqueness is one of the main attractions.
“We have things in here that you don’t buy at Walmart,” Kenyon said. “I like people saying, ‘it takes me back in time.’ It reminds me when I was a kid.”
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.
River Town Antique Mall was decked out for the holidays Saturday during Small Business Saturday.