Shoppers come out for Small Business Saturday despite rain

Small Business Saturday is expected to generate more than $14-billion for business owners across the country Saturday. As it enters its sixth year, a record breaking 55% of U.S. consumers say they’re aware of the day.

Data from American Express shows that’s on pace to meet and even exceed last year’s total. Business owners in downtown Paducah took part in the day and offered certain discounts and giveaways.

For the second year, Paducah Mainstreet’s theme was "Dickens of a Christmas." There were free carriage rides and gift wrapping as well as carolers and characters from Charles Dickens’ books.

American Express started the event in 2010 as a way to encourage people to shop small.

Saturday’s rain in Paducah had vendors from Paducah’s Arts a la Carte program move inside. One of those artists and founders of the program, Jim Keeney, says he thinks Small Business Saturday is wonderful because it reminds people about supporting downtown.

“You know, I love the mall but it’s anywhere USA. It’s the same chain restaurants. It’s the same everywhere else. You come downtown you’re going to get the mom and pop operations that are unique. There are restaurants down here that are second to none,” Keene said.

The non-profit organization provides a selling outlet to artists like weavers, potters, or jewelers. If you’re  an artist interested in selling you can contact Paducah Mainstreet at 270-444-8690.

Shopper’s Saturday could go from buying art to creating it at MAKE. The new business downtown helped bring customers through their doors by offering free Christmas activities for the family.

MAKE employee Elena Wrye says providing crafts on Small Business Saturday lets kids enjoy themselves while parents shop.

“We’ve seen parents come in and help their kids make ornaments. We’ve seen kids draw whatever they want in their letters to Santa,” Wrye said.

Incentives, small businesses like MAKE offer to bring people in, hoping they’ll continue making purchases past Saturday.

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