Small Business Saturday Supports Entrepreneurs

By Jenn Hall
St. Joseph News-Press, Mo.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) The vast majority of retailers are small businesses. More than 98 percent of retail companies employ less than 50 people, according to the Department of Labor Statistics.

St. Joseph News-Press, Mo.

After the rush of Black Friday is over, small businesses around the area will highlight their own holiday shopping.

Small Business Saturday takes place on Nov. 25 this year. The event officially started in 2010, and since then consumers are turning out to support the stores. In fact, the National Retail Federation forecasts that 76 percent of the 71 million Americans shopping on the Saturday after Thanksgiving Day will do so at small businesses.

“I think it’s important because it supports our families,” said Amy Vohl, owner of Gypsy’s Jewelry & Gifts. “If we have employees, it supports their families and it supports our communities with our tax dollars that are being spent here locally.”

The vast majority of retailers are small businesses. More than 98 percent of retail companies employ less than 50 people, according to the Department of Labor Statistics.

Vohl said it’s not easy being the owner of a small business, especially a boutique.

“I’m the CEO and the head toilet cleaner,” she said. “I do everything from clean the toilets to the ordering of inventory, everything. It’s just me.”

Vohl opened her shop four years ago at the corner of Mitchell Avenue and South 33rd Street. But her entrepreneurial spirit started long before that as a jewelry maker at shows and booth rentals at local antique malls.

“There weren’t enough people watching the area, I needed to have my own store,” she said. “This was three blocks from my home. It has windows and it has traffic. It’s perfect.”

She feels her boutique, and many others in St. Joseph, are well-kept secrets. Gypsy’s has many regulars but Vohl said she needs more. Events like Small Business Saturday and the Shop St. Joseph program are great incentives for customers to venture in her doors, she said.

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