FLINT, Michigan—Soon many will enjoy a turkey dinner, then the Friday rush for deals, but for local businesses the big day is Saturday. There’s a major push this year to highlight Flint’s growing retail scene and market local entrepreneurs as part of Small Business Saturday.
“Small businesses have been growing year over year in Genesee County, and there’s definitely been a surge in entrepreneurship and people really grasping onto the start-up movement,” said DeAndra Larkin, group vice president for the Flint and Genesee Chamber of Commerce. “And I think that it’s really been welcomed by the community and the residents, especially by us here at the Chamber.”
For those of you looking to partake in supporting local businesses, find unique gifts, and perhaps even land a few deals — there is a unique opportunity this year to shop more than 125 small businesses in just three stops on Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018.
- Seventy-five vendors will be selling their wares at the Small Business Saturday celebration from noon to 6 p.m. at Word of Life Church, 460 W. Atherton Road, presented by I’m Building Something Consulting.
- The 12th Annual Holiday Craft Market, hosted by Flint Handmade, will feature more than 40 local artisans from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Flint Masonic Temple, 755 S. Saginaw St.
- Downtown Flint is highlighting its many retail options, too, with a map produced by 100k Ideas and Flint Social Business that features 10 different downtown retailers. OK, we are being generous in calling this one location, but just the Flint Farmers' Market and Dryden Building retail each encompass more than 10 businesses — so even if you just stopped at one of the downtown locations, you can still get 10 businesses in one stop.
And, of course, there are many more options beyond these locations at storefronts throughout the city. After all, Small Business Saturday is a nationwide celebration that encourages shoppers to look beyond big box retailers that dominate Thursday and Friday sales.
The Michigan Retailers Association, with over 15,000 stores across the state, calculated that non-local retailers were given $18.5 billion by Michigan residents last year. And, local spending equates to local dollars that support your neighbors, the association notes in its Buy Nearby promotion.
The continued growth in local businesses motivated the Flint and Genesee Chamber of Commerce to join a coalition sponsored by American Express to nurture home-grown entrepreneurship in the city for Small Business Saturday and beyond, Larkin said.
Small Business Saturday is an important opportunity for entrepreneurs to showcase their goods, but also to expose all parts of Flint’s entrepreneurial community, said Ebonie Gipson, CEO of I’m Building Something Consulting, a firm that specializes in providing resources for startups.
Related story: Ebonie Gipson: Meet the woman behind Flint's massive Small Business Saturday expo
And, our community’s entrepreneurs have so much to offer, Gipson said — pointing to Belle Rebel Boutique’s fashions, Elle Jae Essentials’ natural body care, and Kings Klutches’ women and men’s bags and luggage.
“We bring businesses together of all sorts all over the city,” Gipson said. “I think one of the unique things is that when you walk in the door you’ll see a diverse offering, but more important than what they have, you’ll see the community serving the community.”
Know of an additional Small Business Saturday opportunity in Flint? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
and we will include it in a promotion we’re doing on Facebook.