Old Town Cape to celebrate eighth annual Small Business Saturday

Monday, November 20, 2017
Cutline-Body Copy:Kayla Moore shops at Annie-Em's at Home during Small Business Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016, in Cape Girardeau.
Andrew J. Whitaker

Just in the nick of time for local shoppers, Small Business Saturday (SBS) will be recognized Saturday, Nov. 25, in Cape Girardeau. The annual event is marking its eighth year and will put local small businesses at the forefront.

"Small Business Saturday is not just about shopping and getting cash registers ringing. It's also about awareness and bringing the community together. Communities can't thrive unless small business thrive," says Samantha Mlot, communications and marketing specialist with Old Town Cape.

That community togetherness means a lot to Emilie Stephens, owner of Annie-Em's at Home since 2001.

"We benefit greatly from SBS. It's one of our biggest sales days of the year. Not only do we see a lot of our regular customers at SBS, but a lot of new faces," she says.

SBS was started in 2010 by American Express to recognize small businesses throughout the nation. This year, Old Town Cape will host a welcoming reception at Minglewood Brewery from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The reception is free and includes information on participating businesses, a downtown guide, downtown swag and a raffle for downtown Cape T-shirts. Each participating business will have a minimum giveaway of $25.

From left, Yvonne Hallman walks with her two daughters Kate Hallman and Emily Hallman during Small Business Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016, in Cape Girardeau.
Andrew J. Whitaker

A longtime partner, Stephens will once again be part of SBS and is looking forward to another successful year.

"I think it's a great way to encourage the community to show their support of businesses they love," she says.

For Stephens, though, that love is about more than business as usual. It is also about the return investment for the community.

"Small businesses have so much competition, whether its big-box stores, Amazon, the internet. We are constantly competing with stores that have a much larger stream of revenue [and a] marketing department. When you buy an item from a big-box store you have no idea where your money is going. However, when someone supports a local business in their community they are helping a family pay a mortgage, send their kids to school, buy groceries. They are returning some of that money back into their own community through sales tax. That sales tax is then used to improve the community's parks, schools, roads, libraries. It's a win-win for all," Stephens says.

While the purpose of SBS is to draw support and revenue for local small businesses, the real limelight is for its citizens.

Michelle Volkerding hold her daughter Elaina Volkerding's hand while shopping during Small Business Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016, in Cape Girardeau.
Andrew J. Whitaker

"We love seeing downtown Cape filled with people," Mlot says.

Cutline-Body Copy:Jennifer Nelson and Rob Woolf carry gifts after shopping at Annie Laurie's during Small Business Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016, in Cape Girardeau.
Andrew J. Whitaker
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