‘Small Business Saturday’ highlights local shops as holiday shopping picks up

SALT LAKE CITY — Locally owned stores took the spotlight on Small Business Saturday.

The annual event is meant to highlight small, neighborhood shops as an option for consumers doing holiday shopping.

“We want them to shift just 10 percent of their holiday shopping toward locally owned businesses,” said Kristen Lavelett of Local First Utah.

One of the shoppers supporting the local establishments was Salt Lake City Mayor elect Erin Mendenhall.

“For every dollar spent locally, at a business, 55 cents of that dollar stays right here, in Salt Lake City,” Mendenhall said.

Local entrepreneurs rely on a strong holiday season to assure their continued success.

“What happens in November and December pretty much determines whether or not we will be here another year,” said Lisa Brady, the owner of Lille Botanica in Sugar House. “Without the support of local people, we wouldn’t be able to have this business. We wouldn’t be able to have our dream.”

Brady’s neighbor, Gail Piccoli the owner of Commerce & Craft, isn’t trying to compete with big box stores. She believes stores like hers offer customers items and service they can’t get anywhere else.

“Probably, a good 35-40 percent of my work is from Utah,” Piccoli said. “Sometimes you want something a little special for someone. A gift that shows you went through a little effort. That’s why we are here.”

With Small Business Saturday coming to an end, local store owners hope their new customers will return after the holidays to help their businesses grow.

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