Small Business Saturday in Pensacola offers unique gifts and products

Pensacola small business owners aren’t worried supply chain delays will ruin their Christmas shopping season and say their unique gifts and products are just one more reason shoppers are shifting spending to stores local.

“Black Friday and early December are going to be the center of a perfect storm of high demand, low staff, slow shipping and restocking difficulties,” said Kristin McGrath, shopping expert and site editor. Web RetailMeNot, at USA TODAY at the start. of the shopping season.

That’s not a concern for local business owners like Tia Robbins, owner of Taste of Pensacola, an online business that organizes and promotes local vendors by creating gift boxes of their wares. His company highlights all the manufacturers and craftsmen of the region to promote their brands.

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Small Business Saturday, held the Saturday after Thanksgiving, encourages consumers to support local businesses by buying small. American Express created the Holiday Shopping campaign in 2010 during the Great Recession to kick off holiday shopping in local stores. It caught on, and in 2011 the Senate passed a resolution recognizing Small Business Saturdays.

“A lot of people tend to overlook small businesses because of the convenience of shopping on sites like Amazon,” Robbins said. “And it’s really important that a day be dedicated just to have these reminders of the importance of supporting small businesses. You’re supporting families who could use their small businesses to send their kids to college. It stays local and the money goes to the people who put their love and touch into the product.”

Angel’s Garden, located at 1208 N. 12th Ave., has been around for 30 years, and owner Debby Tracey is forever grateful for days like Small Business Saturday. Her shop sells books, jewelry, candles, wine glasses, figurines, and a wide variety of other gift items. Although it has a strong local following, days like Small Business Saturday further expose Pensacola’s uniqueness and the works of local artists it sells in its store.

“We have to keep Pensacola as a place where people want to come because there’s such a variety of small businesses doing so many great things and keeping local artists employed and having places to go,” Tracey said. “We’re dripping with amazing local artists.”

To attract new customers to her store, Tracey holds a raffle for customers to win a gift basket of different items in the store.

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Meanwhile, Robbins will be offering a discount on his gift sets, including the Blue Angels box, a signature box and his latest creation – a green box featuring Ooh Yes! Derma Essentials Skin Care Trio, Asher and Bee Gourmet Tea, East Hill Honey Co. Honey Sticks and other items from local small businesses.

Robbins’ goal is to bring attention to small businesses that don’t have the marketing budget for heavy advertising to reach a wider range of customers. Word of mouth for small businesses is often the difference between failure and thriving.

Angel's Garden at 1208 N. 12th Ave.  offers a variety of unique items such as books, jewelry, candles, wine glasses and figurines that attract many shoppers on Small Business Saturdays.

“I’ve worked for and I have a lot of friends who own small businesses, and I know there are times when until you get to Small Business Saturday, they worry about their numbers for the year,” said Jamie Crowell, owner of Popcorn King. “Everyone knows about Black Friday, but to have something that focuses on small businesses and people talk about it more is just huge. It’s so invaluable.”

For every dollar spent at a small business, American Express estimates that an average of $0.67 stays in the local community of that business. Keeping these small businesses alive not only helps the small business owner, but the community as a whole.

Sports teams, schools, churches and other organizations regularly come to the Popcorn King store at 1531 E. Nine Mile Road to ask for support for their fundraisers, which Crowell said they are always happy to do. to support the community. If their business can grow, so much the more they can give back.

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