When Andrea Svoboda and her husband Kevin moved from Oak Creek to Greendale in August, they found themselves living in a community with not only a vibrant downtown area, but with a large shopping center— Southridge Mall—nearby.
Although the door buster bargains may be at the large chain stores, Svoboda said she likes the idea of buying a more quality product from a local store and always wants to support local businesses. So when he her husband came to her with an idea on how to take on the holiday shopping season, she said she was quick to agree.
“My husband was like, ‘We got to get all of our gifts from downtown,’” Svoboda said. “And I was like ‘yes, you’re absolutely right, that’s why we moved to Greendale.’”
The Svboda’s are two of what area business owners hope are thousands of customers who take advantage of Small Business Saturday this weekend. Started by American Express, the promotion urges residents in communities across the nation to go out to local businesses in their communities in order to help small business owners there.
In Greendale, the chamber of commerce and Greendale Village Business Association have teamed up to do their own promotion for those who choose to shop in downtown Greendale Saturday. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., shoppers can pick up a holiday punch card at area stores and afterwards turn them in for a chance to win nine different prizes, including a Kindle Fire HD, and gift certificates to area businesses, such as Joey Gerard’s.
The punch cards will also be handed out to attendees of Greendale’s tree lighting at 6:30 p.m. Friday at village hall.
On top of the promotion, some businesses are also doing their own promotions to lure shoppers in Saturday.
Chamber President Sherry Maierle said it’s the first time the village has done the promotional event and the organization decided to team with the GVBA to make the idea come to fruition this year.
“We’re trying to encourage our community members and visitors to come out and see what Greendale has to offer,” she said.
Kathy Schnagl, co-owner of Prescott Miller Jewelers said she along with other businesses in the village will run specials as part of the event to get people to come into their shops and learn that the downtown area is a place to come shop all year long.
“I think it’s really important they realize that small business needs their support,” Schnagl said. “They need to know that people’s purchasing power is important to keep them in business.”
Svboda said she’s excited about taking part in the small business event Saturday, which can add a much deeper experience to the holiday season as opposed to just going to the store and buying something.
“I avoid the mall if I can, so we do a lot of Internet shopping, but that takes the personal feel away,” Svoboda said. “Where going downtown and taking a carriage ride with the girls, then having coffee, it just brings back the spirit of the holiday instead of the corporate big box coming to your door.
“You can actually pick something out and that’s more unique.”