The last week in November is the height of the holiday shopping season. Great sales are everywhere and shoppers are busy trying to find just the right gift for everyone on their Christmas list. The holiday season is also one of tasty treats and sweet indulgences. Amidst Black Friday and Cyber Monday and all the Christmas cookies and pumpkin pies, there sits a day dedicated to the success of local small businesses.
Small Business Saturday began in 2010 as a means to draw customers into small mom and pop local stores at the peak of the busiest shopping period of the year. These family run businesses are dependent on each customer, to keep the doors open and the wares available. The holiday season is a great time to capture the attentions of new customers, and in the case of small businesses, new business often results in long term customers.
And the fact is that these small businesses are the backbone of our country, part of what make’s America what it is. The economy of a community is built on small businesses. With 50% of the country’s population employed by small business and these generating more than 65% of new jobs in the last 20 years (U.S. Small Business Administration), small businesses are literally keeping our community going. So take a moment this weekend and promise to shop small because, just as even the smallest of businesses makes a difference, so can just one individual! Support your community by shopping small!
Ideas for Shopping Small in Vilas County
– Book a snowmobile ride with a sled rental from Barefoots Marine
– Shop original arts at the Land O’Lakes Artisans Gallery or reserve a space in the next art class
– Surprise that special someone with a new snow-blower or chainsaw from 17 North Service & Repair
– Load up on art supplies and office needs with a stop in CW Business
– Check all the little ones off your gift list with a stop in Grandma’s Toy Box
– Pick up a hand-woven rug or jar of freshly made maple syrup from Whataview Farm & Weaver
What Makes Small Businesses Different?
Each small business is by nature unique and different from the crowd. But what really sets them apart is the personal service that each customer gets to experience. When you shop small, your purchase matters to the business in a much bigger way than when buying from a large chain business. Therefore, YOU are appreciated more. And with that comes a genuine desire to assist you and enhance your experience.
Friendly Service From Businesses That Care
Barefoots Marine (downtown Phelps on the corner of Hwy 17) is a great example – when you book a snowmobile trip with this local business and the weather forces you to cancel, you aren’t held responsible for the fees because the owner prizes YOUR safety over the lost booking. Could a big retail rental shop do the same? And don’t forget about friendly service! When you stop in CW Business (Wall Street, Eagle River), you are greeted with a smile AND affordable prices. Repeat customer? Bet your name is remembered and your needs foreseen at local businesses!
Experienced & Helpful People Make Shopping Small Rewarding
Can’t figure out what item to purchase for your grandmother? At a local shop, all you need do is ask and the owner or staff will be glad to help! At Grandma’s Toy Box (located on Wall Street, downtown Eagle River), you don’t have to try to guess how a certain toy will be used or whether it is a good selection. There is someone right there to answer your questions, and possibly even demonstrate!
And, unlike retail stores, the person you are talking to actually knows what they are talking about. 17 North Service & Repair (located on Highway 17 between Phelps and Eagle River) spent years considering just what line of power equipment to offer because they wanted to be SURE to pick the right one, and not offer just anything. You get experienced advice with a smile because small businesses care about helping you make the right decision.
Unique Finds & Handcrafted Treasures
Not to mention those one-of-a-kind, irreplaceable items that you have to choose from. For small business offerings are as unique and different as the business itself. Take, for example, a jar of homemade maple syrup from Whataview Farm & Weaver (located on 4041 Sand Lake Road in Phelps). You might be thinking, syrup is syrup but nothing could be farther from the truth. The finished flavor of maple syrup is affected by the year’s temperatures, the trees tapped, and the production methods of the maker. Each maker’s trade is different in taste and color, and varies from year to year.
The same could be said about many of the local shops and stores in Vilas County. You never know what treasure you may find, what handmade item you could stumble upon that you could never find anywhere else. While browsing the Land O’Lakes Artisans Gallery (downtown Land O’Lakes), every stunning item that you see was created with love and artistic dedication, rendering it more valuable than words could describe. Why settle for shopping big when shopping small has so much to offer?
Phelps Chamber of Commerce – Made Up of GREAT Local Businesses!
Looking for more ways to shop small this year? Visit the Phelps Chamber of Commerce Member Directory to find a complete list of business members in the Phelps area. We are sure you will be pleased with the wide selections to be had in our local community. Remember – shop small to support the community!