Small Business Saturday encourages CT shoppers to ‘go local’ for the holidays

HARTFORD — The holiday weekend of shopping continues with Small Business Saturday. Businesses across Connecticut are encouraging you to shop local for your holiday gifts.

“Local business is the lifeblood of this country,” says Emily Tracy, the owner of the small business, Get Baked, a bakery in Windsor.

Shopping local has never been easier. On small business Saturday, 30 vendors gathered at Get Baked to offer holiday shoppers a one stop shop.

“It’s one of the most popular things we do all year,” says Tracy.

The shop brings more than 1,000 community members from across Connecticut to spend their money locally on the Saturday and Sunday between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

“For every dollar spent in a business, 68¢ of it is retained within the community,” says Jennifer Cassidy, the Hartford Merchant Coordinator at Business for Downtown Hartford.

That is why a number of communities are pushing shoppers to their downtown retailers. In downtown Hartford, 24 businesses participated in Small Business Saturday and it all started at the historic Mourneault’s Stackpole Moore Tryon.

“It’s so important to a store that’s been downtown since 1909,” says Mary Dunn, the Manager of Stackpole Moore Tryon.

Some new corporate stores are helping push shoppers to go back to old, familiar shops. There wasn’t a book store in Hartford for 20 years until Barnes & Noble came around.

“We understand we’re not a small business, but we bring people downtown,” says Laurie Bompart, a Hartford native and manager of Barnes & Noble. “There are so many small businesses around us that hopefully that will bring people down and have them go solicit the other stores.”

There will always be something you can’t buy online— family-oriented customer service.

“If you need something and you know the merchant, they will run it out to your car,” says Cassidy.