Small Business Saturday turnout, feels good to shop small

Fifth Street Antiques owner Wanda Leon helping Small Business Saturday shoppers. (Photo by Karl Cooke)

November 26, 2023 – Small Business Saturday landed on November 25th this year. Each year, it takes place Saturday after Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

In recent years, it has become more common and arguably more trendy to shop small and shop local. Members of our community own or work at these businesses. By shopping small and local, we are supporting each other.

Greg Sassano (left) and Bob Parks (right). PHOTO CONTRIBUTED

When asked about this year’s Small Business Saturday, Greg Sassano, owner of Sassano’s Men’s Wear said this, “It was a good day. A lot of people out; families. It seems like there was more people,”

He said that it seemed like more people were shopping at small businesses than in previous years. “They’re thinking local.”

Sassano also mentioned how news has played a role in advertising small business, even companies as large as American Express with their “Shop Small” movement.

Ashley Luis from The Foundry Cooperative said, “We had a good turnout early in the morning because we offered coffee and some free gifts.”

We also spoke to Tammy Shultz of Clovis Appliance about Small Business Saturday. “I hear people every single day in here say ‘I want to shop small,’” said Schultz.

“When customers come in and say that that’s what they want to do—that they want to shop local, and we thank them for it. And I say, you know, that’s how this country started, was the mom-and-pops […] I think we’ve kind of gone full-circle.”

In response to how Small Business Saturday went for Wanda Leon, owner of Fifth Street Antiques, she said, “It was wonderful. We were absolutely jam-packed all day long. It was one of the best ones in the last couple of years,”

“People think everybody goes to the big box stores on Black Friday but we were absolutely swamped on Black Friday as well. So we had two fantastic days.”

“You see a lot of people who were here from out of town, for one thing, because people are here visiting for the holidays […] a lot of people come out and go shopping, and they want to come some place like Old Town Clovis. They can go to Walmart and the mall at home,” said Leon. 

“And the thing is, even though we were really, really busy—and I know we weren’t the only ones, everybody was busy—it’s not like going into a store where you’re standing out in front for five hours with people and you’re rushing […] it’s not like that.

“It did get busy in the store and we had lines, but it’s not crazy. It’s still a more relaxed environment. And quite frankly, it’s a safe environment here in Old Town Clovis, so we have a lot to offer in that regard,” Leon told us. 

“People come out specifically to support small businesses, and it’s very much appreciated. We had a sale where we paid our customer’s tax on that day […] but we didn’t really need to do a big campaign, because people like to come out and support the small businesses.”

Small Business Saturday may have passed, but we still have a few weeks left until Christmas—which means there is still time to do your holiday shopping at small businesses.

Old Town Clovis is a hub of small businesses, but there are many other small businesses all over Clovis that are important to support too!

Make a day of it—visit a cafe for breakfast or coffee, then go to a couple small stores for your gift shopping before grabbing lunch at a local restaurant. Maybe invite a friend to tag along. 

Shopping small can be fun, and it is much more rewarding than shopping at big box stores or online. Support Clovis—shop small, shop local!

Destiny De La Cruz is a budding journalist with a passion for photojournalism. As a Fresno State alumni, she earned a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication & Journalism, the Film & Media Arts option with a minor in Anthropology. She has an interest in all things film, food, literature & outdoors.