Small Business Saturday is a day dedicated to supporting small businesses across the country. Small Business Saturday will take place this year on Saturday November 30. On this day many in Cleveland will celebrate entrepreneurship and the benefits of shopping local.
In Cleveland, there are a variety of small businesses which have thrived. In the City of Cleveland’s Department of Economic Development there is a small business team which works hard to ensure the success of small businesses in the City. Small Business Saturday is a day to showcase these businesses and bring awareness to their importance.
Kevin Schmotzer, Executive of Small Business Development for the City of Cleveland’s Department of Economic Development is an expert on small business development and believes in the importance of Small Business Saturday in Cleveland.
“This is an opportunity to rally the residents of Cleveland to shop local while educating them on the benefits to the overall community vs. big box or on-line shopping,” said Schmotzer. ” When you spend dollars at local businesses, those dollars actually recirculate into the community. The proprietor spends the money to buy supplies or advertising locally and then those vendors do the same, meaning your dollars support many businesses and help them grow to create local jobs,” he said.
The Departments small business team has an extensive list of businesses for which assistance has been provided. One of which is the revitalization of the 5th Street Arcades ( formerly Euclid-Colonial Arcades). Within this building are many new small “mom and pop” businesses. The clientele includes minority owned businesses, female owned businesses, immigrant businesses and existing businesses that have expanded.
Linda Damiani, owner of Fra Angelica Gallery and Studio is a tenant in the 5th Street Arcades. Fra Angelica is a collection of high quality art-to- wear. The business supports sustainability efforts in the region. Many of the products are made from recycled, renewable and sustainable materials. Ms. Damiani opened the retail store this year as an outlet for her art and as an affordable venue where other local artists may sell their artwork.
Damiani believes small business is important and she is an advocate for shopping local.
“More and more people who come into my store believe in shopping local and supporting small, local businesses. I believe in local sustainability,” said Damiani. “Anyone who buys products from my store not only helps my business but also supports the businesses of the artists who sell their art-to-wear in my store. The whole process is sustainable, and it’s heartening to think of all the support we’ve received,” she said.
Downtown Cleveland is being revitalized with new developments and many Clevelanders are in support.
“I want to be a part of the revitalization efforts to bring retail back to downtown. A vibrant downtown is essential to the health of, not only the City of Cleveland, but the entire region,” said Damiana.
In light of this, the Department of Economic Development has geared up to bring new life back into the City.
“We work hard as a team to ensure that the City of Cleveland is a great place to live and do business. As we bring new businesses into the City and help improve the existing, we hope to showcase our talented work force as well as the many benefits our location offers such as low cost of living and diversity, said Tracey Nichols, Director of the City of Cleveland’s Department of Economic Development. “The opportunities are here, we just want to let local entrepreneurs know we are available to support them. Small businesses are not small in impact, rather a critical component for the success of our economy,” said Nichols.
To learn more about Small Business Saturday, visit www.shopsmall.com
For more information on economic development in Cleveland, contact the City of Cleveland Department of Economic Development at 216-664-2406. Follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page for news and events.