Shop Small: Niagara County businesses ready for Thanksgiving weekend
By Joshua Maloni
American Express created the template for Small Business Saturday in 2010. More than a decade later, the credit card company says, “Based on data in the Small Business Economic Impact Study from American Express, if every Gen Z and Millennial shopper spent $10 at a small business on Small Business Saturday, it would support $2 billion in local economic activity throughout the U.S. The study also found that $0.68 of every dollar spent at a small business in the U.S. stays in the local community, and that every dollar spent at small businesses creates an additional $0.48 in local business activity as a result of employees and local businesses purchasing local goods and services.”
While those numbers are impressive, smart money says most locally owned businesses aren’t so much thinking about that study as they are what Anchor Spirits owner Cheryl Irish-Butera said this week.
“We survived COVID,” she explained. “We're coming out of two of the hardest years for so many people. We are so appreciative that people were kind and thoughtful, wore their mask when they needed to, didn't give us a hard time. And you know, we don't know what the future holds. But we got through it, and we are so hand-in-hand with all the others that got through it, or those that are picking themselves up by the bootstraps and starting all over again.”
And so it is that, in a spirit of seasonal solidarity among storeowners – and appreciation for customers – mom-and-pop brick-and-mortars will showcase their uniqueness and provide some of the best deals to date over the course of Thanksgiving weekend.
Small Business Saturday is a time to patronize local establishments and, in turn, a time for those local establishments to show appreciation to their patrons.
In journalism, one is taught to be objective – to avoid telling audiences how they should think, feel or act.
As it turns out, Youngstown’s Anchor Spirits has a similar philosophy.
“We don't so much as direct people, and offer what I think they should buy. We speak to our customers, and find out what their interests are, what their tastes are,” owner Mark Butera said. “And the advice I always give people is drink what you enjoy. And don't worry so much about all the technicalities of the wine and food pairings. What's important is that you're having a beverage that you enjoy with the meal you're anticipating having.
“And then I steer people based on sweet or dry, red or white, and then we kind of move around through there and offer selections to make it work.”
Cheryl Irish-Butera said, “One thing that I see happens so much when somebody that's a novice comes in, and they're looking for ‘a thing,’ they give us a name – whatever it might be. If we happen not to have that thing, that brand, that title – unless it's something we've never had, never even heard of, and nothing that we have in our inventory comes even close to that particular thing – almost, I can say 95% of the time, a person walks out with something. We’ll come as close to what it is that they're looking for as we can, because we use our imaginations; we use our creativity. Just by talking to the person, say, ‘Well, what is it you’re doing? You’re making a sauce? Well, you might want to try this kind of wine. What is your meal plan? What goes good with Turkey versus ham?’ – that kind of thing.”
Mark said, “We rarely have someone who walks out of our store unhappy with what they're getting. And forever, if we don't have it, and we can get it, and the customer wants it, we'll get it, and we'll stock it. And over 16 years, we probably have 30%, 40% of our products because of customer requests. And it’s great, because then it exposes it to other customers. So, it kind of works.
“We pride ourselves on having a (variety). We don't carry everything, but we have a darn good selection of most everything, as far as spirits and wines go.”
Anchor Spirits was one of the first local stores to participate in Small Business Saturday.
“We've always done it because we've always believed, since day one – we're going to be 16 years in business in Youngstown – and even before we opened the store, we were already supporting the local winery, the Niagara Wine Trail,” Cheryl said.
She added, “We're all in, Anchor Spirits, in every way you can be in, as far as drink local, eat local, shop local, buy local – because whatever is good for one business is good for every business. So, it's not just the product that we sell, but it's who we are as people. Every customer is greeted. Every customer, ‘If you need anything, let us know.’ Answer questions, special orders, all those kinds of things are true.”
Mark said, “We are just so firm in our belief that what is good for one business is good for all of the businesses, because it's people; it's traffic flow. That's what makes businesses functional, and work – especially in our kind of village. We're all in.”
For Small Business Saturday, Anchor Spirits is offering a 13-month drink recipe calendar, plus a pen/stylus combo, to all customers making a purchase.
Cheryl said, “I know most people use their phones and keep their calendars on their phones. But a lot of people ask for that calendar. They've gotten used to Anchor Spirits has a calendar that's big enough you can write in the little boxes what your appointments are – it's on the side of your fridge or whatever. It turns out lots of companies have stopped doing that – have stopped making calendars or giving away calendars.”
Mark added, “We searched far and wide to keep finding a supplier for they’re called ‘Happy Hour’ calendars. And we've been doing them now for almost 12 years, I believe. And they're always different drink recipes for the past few years. So, somebody who has been collecting our calendars for all these years has got quite a repertoire of drink recipes!”
Anchor Spirits is located at 113 Lockport St., Youngstown. Visit online at https://anchorspirits.com/.
About Small Business Saturday
Nov. 26 is the 13th annual Small Business Saturday, proudly backed by American Express. Dedicated to supporting the diverse range of local businesses that create jobs, help boost the economy, and enhance neighborhoods around the country, Small Business Saturday was created by American Express in 2010 in response to small business owners’ most pressing need: getting more customers.
This national holiday shopping tradition is dedicated to celebrating small businesses and driving more customers through their doors on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
About Shop Small
Shop Small is a year-round movement that supports small, independent businesses and calls attention to the valuable and distinct contributions they make to their communities and the economy. Shop Small celebrates small businesses ranging from retail stores and restaurants to fitness studios and salons, and everything in between. The Shop Small movement was spurred by the widespread participation in Small Business Saturday.
CELEBRATE LOCAL WITH SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY
Submitted by the Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce
The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce is celebrating Small Business Saturday on Nov. 26 to remind our neighbors how important their support is to local businesses this holiday season.
The Chamber has compiled a listing of member businesses that will be celebrating the special day with a discount or promotion. The Chamber has been a part of the Small Business Saturday movement dedicated to supporting the independent businesses that make our communities unique and provide invaluable contributions to our economy. We encourage everyone to celebrate and support the neighborhood businesses in our communities every day.
The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce staff and board of directors will have an open house at the Chamber office and Welcome Center, 895 Center St., in the Village of Lewiston, beginning on Saturday, Nov. 26. The Chamber will give away 50 $15 gift certificates to the first 50 people who visit the Chamber office! Free canvas bags will be given to the first 35 shoppers, along with a listing of promotions from our member businesses. Free coffee will also be available.
Participants must be at least 18 years old, complete paperwork, and be present to receive the certificate. One prize per person.
Below is a listing of businesses offering special promotions on Small Business Saturday. A full listing and featured spotlights are available online at www.NiagaraRiverRegion.com. Hours vary per business.
•Antique to Chic (536 Center St., Lewiston) Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.: Unique variety of vintage, new and hand-crafted gifts with great holiday décor ideas. Sweet holiday treats. “Super Santa Sale” items. Coupon drawing for 30% off one regular-priced item.
•Be OK Studio (265 Portage Road, Lewiston) Open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Small Business Saturday: Spend $100 on classes/gift card, get an extra $25! Visit www.mindbodyonline.com/explore/locations/riverview-fitness.
•Bella Rose Vineyard & Winery (1243 Ridge Road, Lewiston) Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.: 10% off bottle purchases. Visit www.bellarosewinery.com.
•Brewed and Bottled Craft Beer Shop (444 Center St., Lewiston) Open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.: Enter to win Brewed and Bottled swag with any to-go beer purchase of a mixed four-pack or more! Every four-pack earns you an entry. Two winners will be chosen. First place wins a B&B hoodie; second place wins a B&B T-shirt. (21-and-older only).
•Chéri Amour (522 Center St., Lewiston) Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Special gifts with purchase, and extra discount promotions!
•DeGiulio's Pharmacy (220 Portage Road, Lewiston): Receive 20% off all store gift item merchandise (excluding gift cards, prescriptions, etc.).
•Everything Youngstown (435 Main St., Youngstown) Extended hours of 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.: Come Shop Small with Everything Youngstown. Free gift with purchase. Special sale items on Small Business Saturday!
•Healing Earth CBD (765 Cayuga St., Lewiston) Open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Black Friday through Christmas Eve, save 10% on all THC products; 25% off all soaps and candles; buy one, get one on all cbdMD Botanicals products; CVD tea sample pack (five teabags for the price of four). Visit www.HealingEarthCBD.com.
•Inspirations on Canvas (449 Center St., Lewiston) Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.: Enjoy complimentary hot cocoa and treats, as well as 10% off all in-store purchases (excluding commissioned art and gift certificates). Enter to win one of five prizes with purchase! Happy holidays!
•Orange Cat Coffee Co. (703 Center St., Lewiston) Open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.: 10% off all bulk coffee and tea! Enter our raffle to win a basket filled with OC goodies!
•Queen B’s Cottage (475 Ridge St., Lewiston) Enter to win a $25 gift certificate! Second prize is a candle!
•Research and Design (721 Center St., Lewiston) Open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.: BOGO 50% off select styles. BOGO free on select Junkfood styles. 25% off select Sorels. Extended holiday hours and complimentary gift wrapping!
•Revamped New York Inc. (484 Center St., Lewiston) Open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.: Hair braiders from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Forever bracelets from 3-7 p.m. Free hot cocoa bar! 70% off sale items. The entire store is 20% off from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and 15% from 3-7 p.m. Visit www.revampedny.com.
•The Rose Hanger Shop (411 Center St., Lewiston) Open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.: Door-buster deal: First 10 purchases of the day will receive a free Rose Hanger Shop gift bag filled with products, accessories and gift cards – a $100 value! 25% to 70% off storewide! Exclusions apply. Visit www.therosehangershop.com.
•Sgt. Peppers Hot Sauces, Etc. (444 Center St., Side Unit 4, Lewiston): Enter to win a $50 gift certificate and a Sgt. Peppers T-shirt with any purchase of $10 or more. Drawing on Dec. 20. Visit www.sgtpeppershotsaucesetc.com.
•Trait-Carré (480 Center St., Lewiston) Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.: 10% off storewide, and more discounts on awesome gifts!
•You & Me (467 Center St., Lewiston) Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.: 10% off every purchase, and a variety of free gifts with purchases of $25-plus. Visit www.shopyouandme.com.