Longview holds ‘Shop Small Business Saturday’

“Shop Small Business Saturday” was held in downtown Longview to help boost support for local stores.
Published: Nov. 26, 2022 at 2:42 PM CST
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LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - “Shop Small Business Saturday” was held in downtown Longview to help boost support for local stores.

This community event is meant to increase exposure for small downtown businesses in Longview that often fly under the radar and are overshadowed by big retailers.

In an age where big box stores seem to draw most of the shoppers, Longview main street hosted “Shop Small Business Saturday,” in a continuing drive to help old downtown businesses.

“Our number one priority is making visitors want to come back: live here, stay here, visit here, spend their money here in our small businesses,” said C.J. Clayton of Longview Marketplace.

In the past, businesses have come and gone, often withering away because shoppers simply don’t know they’re operating.

“Most of our business is just word of mouth,” said Chad Nevils of Ollie’s Skate Shop. “We do a lot of the social media stuff. We’re competing with the bigger boxes.”

Over a dozen businesses took part in the event, with an added “bingo” component this year.

Shoppers were encouraged to go to participating businesses and get one of the bingo cards. After having it stamped by each shop, they were entered into a drawing to win a prize.

Statistically, in Texas small shops account for 99% of the state’s businesses.

Places like Ollie’s need the exposure.

“We need to get the word out and let people know we’re here,” Nevils said.

Part of the allure of small businesses is that you quite often get something unique, instead of something mass produced.

“There’s lots of things you won’t see anywhere else,” said Brenda Thornhill of Heartisan’s Marketplace. “We have had the Christmas stuff up since late October, and we have sold a good bit, but we hope lots more shoppers come in.”

Small Business Saturday is important because the money spent stays in the community.

“We’re hoping that something like this gets people out and shows them that these businesses exist,” Clayton said.

A drawing will be held Tuesday to determine the prize winners in the bingo contest.

Brenda Thornhill of Heartisans Market said Small Business Saturday is important because the money stays in the community.