Locals turn out for Craig’s Small Business Saturday

Crag artist Nini Shroyer paints a Christmas window decor at the Community Budget Center on Small Business Saturday.
Cuyler Meade / Craig Press

Just a couple of days after the yearly national gathering of families around dinner tables or football, shoppers around the country made their way to their favorite local businesses to participate in Small Business Saturday — and Craig residents were no exception.

Falling between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday was first celebrated in 2010 as a response to the Great Recession of 2008. The trend became popular through social media at the time and even expanded to the United Kingdom in 2013.

Liane Davis-Kling, owner of Downtown Books & Coffee in Craig, said that Small Business Saturday went well for her shop. Though Downtown Books does not set a specific goal to make before the retail holiday comes around, customers were steadily coming in and out for books as well as coffee drinks throughout the day, she said.

“It was one of our busiest days,” Davis-Kling said. “Black Friday was a close second. We just try to make sure we have inventory up and ready before Saturday, and we’ve slowly but surely gotten it together since we’ve moved buildings. We’ll order titles as customers want them, too.”

Across the United States, small businesses are expected to do better than last year — mainly because of the economic recovery since pandemic lockdowns in 2020 — but they’re still down significantly from Small Business Saturdays before the pandemic, according to reporting from CNBC. Over one-third of Americans (34%) said they planned to shop on Small Business Saturday, a CNBC survey found.

The last quarter of the year tends to be the busiest — and arguably, most important — quarter for retailers, mainly with pushes from the holiday season and specialized shopping holidays. Brittany Young, executive assistant and marketing coordinator for the Craig Chamber of Commerce, said that, for many businesses in town, business-oriented holidays help local businesses get to their yearly goals.

“The last quarter means a lot,” Young said. “For a lot of businesses, it’s how they catch up. The first quarter is usually one of the slowest ones, so a push at the end really gets businesses to their goals at the end, and it holds them over through the first quarter.”

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