Sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is an opportunity. Small Business Saturday offers local shops a chance to shine while shoppers enjoy treats, discounts, sales, giveaways and activities. Fifty Superior businesses have signed up for the annual event.
“It looks like every small business in the area is doing something,” said Kathryn Schottmuller, owner of Silverwood Pet Care.
Champion’s Bar and Grill is offering samples of food and drink; visitors can snag a free cookie or popcorn ball at Sweeden Sweets; fill a bag with clothing for $5 at Annie’s Attic; take 50% off recycled items at Earth Exchange; and wine tastings are available at Wine Beginnings and Wine Seller Winery.
Santa will be making appearances at Nicolet Law Office from 10 a.m. to noon. Donations of nonperishable food will be collected for the Ruth House, with the business chipping in an additional $1 for each gift made.
The Douglas County Historical Society from 2-4 p.m. Visit with Santa for free at the Historical Society, with the option to capture a photo with him in a 1960s setting.
Superior Business Improvement District Executive Director Lindsey Jacobson said shoppers were upset when big retailers like Target and Kmart left Superior, but they’re looking more closely at what small businesses have to offer.
“The overall tone is changing,” she said. “It’s ‘I’m shopping in my own backyard because I believe in my own backyard and look at all the great things that are happening.’ You know you’re being part of something. You know you’re helping to move your community forward. I think that I like that people are having that conversation.”
According to the U.S. Small Business Association, small businesses employ 50% of the workforce in Wisconsin.
“When the community gets out and supports small business, they’re helping a little girl get dance lessons, a little boy get hockey gear, a family put food on the table for their children,” Schottmuller said.
Small Business Saturday gives community members a chance to really see what local shops have to offer.
“Turn off Amazon and turn on Superior,” said Craig Sutherland, general manager of Sutherland CBD.
Schottmuller said she’d like to spend the day visiting all 50 businesses on the list. Instead, she’ll be hosting an event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for dogs and their families. Enjoy a homemade “pupcake” dog treat and free holiday dog toy. Canines can romp around in the business’ new doggy day care area that opened Nov. 18.
“I think it’s something more and more people are asking for,” Schottmuller said of the indoor play space.
Visit www.superiorchamber.org/small-business-saturday for a full list of Small Business Superior participants.
Sensory friendly options
Shoppers may be thinking small, but they’re also seeking establishments that are socially conscious. According to a holiday survey by Accenture, 45% of shoppers in the U.S. said they are more likely to buy from environmentally or socially conscious retailers.
This year, Superior businesses were asked to consider hosting a sensory-friendly shopping experience for Small Business Saturday. Sutherland CBD is doing just that. Employees will dim the lights, dial down noise and ensure there aren’t any strong scents in the store from 5-6 p.m. Saturday.
“I think our business is a perfect fit for being sensory-friendly with the products we sell,” Sutherland said.
All three of the local Sutherland CBD stores will hold the hour-long experience, and all are open to working with customers to accomodate a sensory-friendly experience any time.
“It’s awesome to at least start the conversation of being more sensory friendly,” Jacobson said.
Stores seeking to be sensory friendly could also consider providing time-out spots and noise-canceling headphones.