Klamath Falls Downtown Association (KFDA) announces that it will be supporting the nationwide “Small Business Saturday” on November 24. Small Business Saturday and the “Shop Small” movement is a nationwide effort backed by American Express to encourage people to shop at small, locally-owned shops that support economies and promote thriving communities. Small Business Saturday happens every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving and reminds shoppers to continue to support small businesses after Black Friday and through the holiday shopping season.
American Express promotes the movement through Neighborhood Champions, and KFDA is proud to partner with the Klamath County Chamber of Commerce and the Klamath Community College Small Business Development Center (KCC SBDC) to promote the movement in Klamath County and support the many small businesses that make up our local economy. In 2017, there were 7,200 Neighborhood Champions across the country. To help businesses make the most of Small Business Saturday, Neighborhood Champions provide posters, banners, stickers and digital collateral to small businesses, as well as Shop Small tote bags to shoppers.
Kat Rutledge, Director of the KCC SBDC, said of the effort, “Small businesses are an often-overlooked component of local economies. In Klamath County 99.3% of our businesses are small! Even though we celebrate these locally-owned businesses every day, Small Business Saturday reminds local shoppers to put them at the top of their list of holiday shopping stops. If we could re-capture just 5% of our retail spending in a year here, we could create 400-500 jobs. Small Business Saturday could be a great start!”
Another aspect of Small Business Saturday is the opportunity to showcase new businesses and new offerings from existing businesses. Heather Tramp, Klamath County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, said, “Opportunities like Small Business Saturday are a great way for shoppers to reacquaint themselves with our local small business community and the products and services they offer. When we host similar events that include our small businesses, we often hear things like, ‘Wow, I didn’t even know this store was here!’”
All three organizations encourage shoppers to consider our local small businesses before shopping online or traveling outside the area. “There are so many unique small businesses in our area. In downtown alone you can find clothing boutiques, outdoor equipment stores, even a saddle shop. All of those things can be found online or within a few hours’ drive, but choosing to spend your dollars locally first supports a strong business community. More importantly, it supports our friends and neighbors,” said Darin Rutledge, Executive Director of KFDA.
In conjunction with Small Business Saturday, several shops in the downtown area will be offering sales or promotions and the Cerulean Hotel will make its back parking lot available to the public free of charge on that day. In addition, the local chapter of Disabled American Veterans will host a “Chocolate Walk” featuring approximately 30 participating shops in downtown.
The City of Klamath Falls has also signed on in support of efforts to encourage shopping at downtown businesses during the busy holiday season. Starting on Black Friday (November 23) through the end of the year, the 2-hour parking limit within the downtown parking district will be waived. All other restrictions will remain in place and will be enforced, including 15-minute zones, accessible parking spots, after hours parking, and reserved parking spots. This will provide a safe and convenient opportunity for shoppers to spend more time enjoying all that downtown has to offer.
Press release provided from the Klamath Falls Downtown Association.