Small businesses rule on Saturday

Published 9:52 am Thursday, November 22, 2012

Twice is Nice owner Sandra Bell stands outside her business after a renovation last year. Bell hopes for a big turnout on Small Business Saturday. -- Herald file photo

While big retailers are starting Black Friday sales much earlier this year — several at 8 or 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving — a lot of local businesses are looking for big turnouts Friday afternoon and on Small Business Saturday.

Twice is Nice owner Sandra Bell said her business gets much busier in the afternoon on Friday, after shoppers had a chance to snag deals at the big-boxes Thursday evening or early Friday morning. She said they also do really well on Saturday.

“I thought it went really well,” Bell said of last year.

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A few blocks east on Oakland Avenue, the Hardy Geranium will throw its hat in the Small Business Saturday ring for the first time.

“We like to encourage people to shop at their small, local businesses,” owner Vicki Trimbel said. “We’ve been here for 12 years, and a lot of people have never been here, so we’re encouraging people to stop in and see what it’s all about.”

At Sterling Main Street, the sales kick off at 7 a.m. Friday.

“We’ll let people enjoy being with their families for Thanksgiving,” manager Jessica Jenkins said.

But one day later, other small businesses all across Austin will hope for a big turnout, with big sales everywhere.

“Pretty much everyone up and down Main Street has things planned for Saturday,” said Jeff Baldus of the Austin Area Chamber of Commerce. “When we talk about that sector, one of the things people need to remember is the owners of these businesses are family, friends, neighbors, and they’re hiring local people, generating money and putting it back in the community.”

Jenkins said Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and the holiday shopping season make up a big part of Sterling’s fourth quarter earnings. She said Black Friday opens the holiday season at the store and gets shoppers and workers in gear for the busy season.

“It’s really our big kickoff for the holiday season,” she said.

The holiday festivities won’t end with Black Friday. Sterling will take part in Christmas in the Southwest from 4 to 7 p.m. Nov. 29, and children can receive a picture and a toy from Santa.

On Dec. 17, Sterling will hold a public anniversary party. The business kicked off its 60 days of deals to celebrate 60 years of business on Nov. 8.

—Jason Schoonover contributed to this report.