Small Business Saturday in Buffalo, Williamsville
It's Williamsville's Main Street instead of the mall or maybe Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo instead of a big box store. It's a switch for holiday shoppers who turned out to support locally owned, independent stores on Small Business Saturday and that's a welcome contrast for some.
Dan Corcoran says "The atmosphere is more pressured, more harried, more almost desperate. Whereas this is just people browsing and look like they're having a good time. You know and maybe you buy and maybe you don't but it's beautiful to see all the things."
Anne Marie Sontag-Shea also felt "Much more relaxed. The atmosphere is a lot calmer. It's fun. It's enjoyable. And Black Friday was crazy and hectic and I was very anxious and aggravated at the end of the day."
And maybe it's the little things in smaller shops that can make a big difference...life really different gift ideas or some extra service. Katie Brancato of Cleveland says "Just more unique gifts for friends and family. Things that you're not gonna...no one else is gonna have the same things. Debby Steinbrucker of Village Artisans in Williamsville points out "Small businesses, especially small stores offer so much more service than big box stores do. We're here to wait on you, help you. Wrap your gifts...we do free gift wrapping. Just a lot of things that aren't in big stores anymore." And David Schueckler of the Tree House Store suggests "Instead of focusing on well one big deal, you get the variety and they can choose what's important for them."
Of course, money spent here may stay strictly local as opposed to a larger chain. And there's another strong selling point for year - round hometown support as sales associate Elizabeth Bartolone says: "Everybody is pushing the internet and big box stores. But people have to shop local, if you want these great boutiques and restaurants to stay in business, you've got to support 'em."