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Campaign inspires shopping locally

Profile image for By Megan Gray / Staff Writer
By Megan Gray / Staff Writer

Small Business Saturday draws people to Square

When Sandy Sauceda wants to find something unique, she heads to Denton’s downtown Square.

Sauceda joined shoppers downtown Saturday morning in support of Small Business Saturday, a nationwide effort to encourage shoppers to patronize locally owned businesses.

“Generally, when I am looking for something unique, I come here first,” Sauceda said. “I shop downtown a lot and am all about supporting my mom-and-pop shops whenever I can,”

Sauceda said she was doing some Christmas shopping and enjoying the mild weather.

According to the National Federation of Independent Business, Small Business Saturday started in 2010 and is nestled between Black Friday and Cyber Monday to encourage shoppers to get a great deal while supporting the backbone of America’s economy.

The time to put small business front and center was appealing, business owners said.

Courtney Johnson, owner of Shop the Barn — a store specializing in vintage decor and furniture — said she placed sale signs throughout her shop to encourage more foot traffic.

Her store has been open only five months, and she said visitors have been coming at a steady pace.

“We actually consist of about 12 different vendors, and some of my vendors were texting me after I left last night [Friday] to add more sales to their areas, so I went back and placed more signs this morning,” Johnson said Saturday afternoon.

Monte Jensen, the incoming president of the Denton Main Street Association board, said shopping locally is key to not only keeping the city’s tax rates low, but helping keep revenue in the community. Local dollars, he said, generate sales tax funds that go to support essential city services.

“Local businesses employ local residents,” said Jensen, co-owner of Mellow Mushroom in Denton. “One cannot say that about online or other remote retailers. Many of our Denton employees bike, skateboard, walk or take public transportation to work.”

According to the city’s website, if just half of Denton’s population spent $50 each month at independently owned stores, their purchases would generate more than $2.1 million per year in sales.

“If more people chose to spend money elsewhere, the city would have to look for alternative sources of income in order to maintain the base level of services provided today,” Jensen said.

Supporting their local businesses was what brought Leighton and Lindsay Wiggins to the Square on Saturday.

The couple was out to grab a bite to eat and browse the shops partly because they saw American Express commercials encouraging Americans to “shop small.”

The Denton couple said they were trying to support the local community and were encouraged by the commercials and by word of mouth to check out the small businesses.

Josh Selby, manager of Cartwright’s Ranch House, said he was glad a day is designated to encouraging residents to buy local.

“We need to bring back that old-time mentality where everyone comes out and spends time together in a community setting,” Selby said.

The best place to do that?

“At privately owned and operated restaurants and businesses,” he said, with a smile.

MEGAN GRAY can be reached at 940-566-6885 and via Twitter at @MGrayNews.