BALDWYN, Miss. (WCBI)-While the Christmas shopping season officially kicked yesterday with Black Friday, today was set aside for small mom and pop merchants on Mainstreet USA.
It was Small Business Saturday, and here on Mainstreet in Baldwyn shoppers gathered at Fill My Cup Coffee Shop.
To have a cup of coffee and maybe a pastry, Tammy Lee is the owner.
“When I first saw Baldwyn, I thought of Mayberry right away. And it was my draw to this town, and now in 2019, it is just a truly genuine beautiful town. And the businesses support each other. The owners support each other, and it’s just a great team we have here in Baldwyn,” Lee said.
“Well, just want to encourage everybody as often as you can to shop local because local is the heart of your communities and towns. We have the big box stores that buy in bulk, and you can go and get everything. But you know what? In my shop in Paper Moon Clothing, I go out, and I select things that I know my customers will like. I try to keep USA made,” Phyllis Robinson said.
Situated in between Paper Moon Clothing and Fill My Cup Coffee Shop is The Alley Cat Gallery, managed by Daphne Taylor.
“To shop small, small businesses give an opportunity for people to find one of a kind gifts. And just like other small towns, Baldwyn has businesses here that are family-owned. They have personalities that are represented in the merchandise that they sell and the people that come to shop with them. It gives an opportunity for people to visit the stores to buy one of a kind gifts,” Taylor said.
Here in Baldwyn, merchants are taking Small Business Saturday very seriously. The Chamber of Commerce has produced these cards, which encourages folks to Shop Small.
“It’s a fact that out of every dollar spent in the small business, 67 cents stays in the community. When my workers when they get their paycheck, they pour back into the community by shopping the local boutiques, gas stations, foods,” Taylor said.
Taylor Witt and her family’s business Woodworkings is now on Main Street Tupelo, not Baldwyn; it started in Baldwyn. And her custom made furniture has to compete with the big manufacturers of Northeast Mississippi.
“Small Business Saturday is really important for us. We’re from Tupelo. It’s a large furniture hub, but we’re a smaller business there’s only four of us so we’re not a large production and we actually build all of our furniture ourselves. And so that kind of sets us apart just a little bit, so it’s just really important that people look at the small business side of things during this time,” Witt said.
Small Business Saturday was created in 2010 during the recession as a way to encourage people to bring more Christmas shopping to small businesses.