The biggest shopping weekend of the year is rapidly approaching. Would you like to use it as an opportunity to expand your approach to holiday gift-giving? Try Shop Small Saturday in Downtown; It’ll be a win-win for you and for the local small businesses you’ll be supporting.
Stephanie El Tawil, Downtown Long Beach Alliance (DLBA) Economic Development & Policy Manager, explained how keeping shopping dollars local helps build the Downtown community: “When that money is spent locally, it is estimated to recirculate in our community anywhere from six to 12 times,” she said. “That means for every $1 dollar spent in a small business in Downtown, it generates roughly 40 cents of additional revenue from ‘spillover’ activities such as parking, eating, and shipping.
“Shop Small Saturday is a reminder at the beginning of this big shopping season to remember this positive economic impact before we start spending,” added El Tawil.
Greg Beck, who owns Sake Secret at 460 Pine Avenue, was emphatic about the benefits of shopping local. “People need to realize how powerful shopping at local businesses can be to make our own lives better,” he said. “Shopping at big chains sends our hard-earned dollars to hedge funds and shareholders in other states – or countries!
“When I get paid,” continued Beck, “I buy clothes at Masaya, coffee from Daily Dose, dessert from The Pie Bar, or grab a steak salad from Anna’s across the street. It feels like we are all on the same team, helping each other succeed. You don’t need to own your own business to be a part of that — just shop local!”
Over in the East Village, Record Box owner Jose Jurado voiced similar sentiments. “The Amazons and Discogs of the world are not elevating our community. They are not contributing to our great city like we brick-and-mortar shops do,” said Jurado. “Supporting small businesses means supporting our awesome Downtown, supporting diversity, and supporting a dream.”
Down at Shoreline Village, Istanbul Home owner Eyup Tekinbas is preparing for a sales spike from visitors from all over the world who will be in town over Thanksgiving weekend, shopping his gorgeous selection of lamps, rugs, and other items imported from Turkey. “We’ll get lots of support from locals as well on Shop Small Saturday, ” Tekinbas said. “They tell me they want to make sure this shop never closes.”
Istanbul Home regular shopper Louise said that a gift from this shop is guaranteed to please. “The lamps here are magnificent. I’ve bought some for a few friends, who adore them.”
Sake Secret has many regular patrons who love to learn the many particulars of sake culture. “It’s great to develop a personal relationship with a business owner,” said Sake Secret customer Sambo Sak. “Greg educates me, helps me find what I am looking for and invites me to try new products. It’s a joy to contribute to the success of a great small business.”
The Record Box has many loyal regulars too. “I love shopping here because it’s a cultural spot with a deep, curated sound,” said loyal crate-digger Tony Guembes. “It’s important to support local small businesses like this because they provide a sweet, eclectic, and personal vibe that larger chains often lack.”
With a vibrant variety of shops, tons of eateries and drinkeries, and convenient parking, Downtown is the perfect place to spend Shop Small Saturday. “Join us in Downtown for a personal and genuine shopping experience,” said El Tawil. “It will be like meeting a new friend who shares your taste in music, art, clothes, food — the full spectrum of unique and original gifts.”
Check out our full directory of DTLB businesses here, and don’t miss Shop Small Saturday on Nov. 25, and supporting local year-round!