After Black Friday, small businesses want your help


By Valerie Urbanik and Jason Hawk



Oberlin Business Partnership director Janet Haar


Main Street Wellington director Jennifer Arntz


Main Street Amherst director Teresa Gilles


Going shopping after Thanksgiving?

Keep your dollars local by spending close to home on Small Business Saturday, say advocates for shops in Amherst, Oberlin, and Wellington.

“Support the local entrepreneurs. It’s better customer service. Yes, the price may sometimes be a little higher, but you’re supporting the people who support your community,” said Main Street Amherst director Teresa Gilles.

On the heels of Black Friday, shopping and dining at homegrown establishments delivers a big punch to the economy, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Last year, 88 million consumers shopped small on the Saturday after Thanksgiving and 77 percent said it inspired them to shop and dine small throughout the year.

“We’re asking everyone to please come home on that Saturday and shop local,” said Main Street Wellington director Jennifer Arntz. “Don’t just shop for things you love but for the business you love, the community you call home, and the money stays in the community.”

Her Main Street office will have an open house from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. for customers and residents with free refreshments and gift-wrapping opportunities.

Shoppers can be entered into a raffle for every receipt they show from a Wellington business on Nov. 28, Arntz said.

She knows not all shopping can be done in Wellington but Arntz urges residents to try to spend at least a third of their dollars at home. “It’ll help your family, your neighbors, and your friends,” she said.

Several downtown businesses in Oberlin are also taking part in the event. The Oberlin Business Partnership will offer chances to win $25 gift certificates.

Anyone who makes three purchases in Oberlin and gets initials from a worker on an OBP “shopping passport” can enter to win the Oberlin gift cards.

Oberlin businesses will also have holiday open houses on Saturday, offering discounts and handing out refreshments.

Shops in Amherst’s historical downtown will also post specials and sales, Gilles said. In the past, the holiday has proven to put a lot of wind in the sails of merchants who live and work in Lorain County.

“It’s not just about retail shops, it’s about where you’re going to eat that day. Where are you going to spend your money?” she said.

The USBA encourages shoppers to commit to making at least one purchase from a locally-owned small business and support Small Business Saturday on social media by using the hashtags #ShopSmall or #DineSmall.

Valerie Urbanik can be reached at 440-775-1611 or on Twitter @ValUrbanik. Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-988-2801 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.

Oberlin Business Partnership director Janet Haar
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/25/2015/11/web1_JanetHaar.jpgOberlin Business Partnership director Janet Haar

Main Street Wellington director Jennifer Arntz
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/25/2015/11/web1_JenniferArntz.jpgMain Street Wellington director Jennifer Arntz

Main Street Amherst director Teresa Gilles
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/25/2015/11/web1_DSC_3479.jpgMain Street Amherst director Teresa Gilles

By Valerie Urbanik and Jason Hawk