LA GRANGE, Ky. — Small Business Saturday is this weekend on Nov. 27. It’s a day dedicated to supporting local businesses in communities across the U.S. Spectrum News 1 caught up with some people in La Grange, which boasts a historic downtown with many locally-owned small businesses about what it means to a community to shop local.
For two and a half years, Ernesto Jamies has served up margaritas at his Mexican restaurant located on Main Street in La Grange, which is just outside of Louisville.
The 36-year-old chose the town’s historic downtown district for his restaurant, Ernesto’s Mexican Cuisine, because the location reminds him of the plaza in his hometown, Limón Terrero, in Mexico.
“People always get together there. It’s like a family reunion every weekend,” Jamies told Spectrum News 1.
La Grange’s historic downtown boasts over 40 local businesses, from restaurants to shops, which are most likely to see an influx of shoppers on Small Business Saturday. With more foot traffic, Ernesto’s Mexican Cuisine will likely benefit.
Within walking distance on Main Street is PB&J Stuff, a local shop that sells ‘stuff,’ such as handmade crafts and many Kentucky-made items. The store is owned Jaime Bowling and her husband, nicknamed “Perfect Bobby,” hence the moniker “PB&J Stuff.”
Opened almost eight months ago, door hangers are the store’s bestsellers, which Jaime and her husband make themselves.
“We can customize things. People come and are like, ‘Oh, I really don’t like it like that.’ I’m like, ‘OK, well I’ll make it different for you.’ You can’t get that when you go to a big box store. You are going to get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit. Here, you want it. We make it,” Bowling exclaimed.
Shannon Williams was shopping in PB&J Stuff when Spectrum News 1 visited. She said she plans to only shop local, small businesses for holiday gifts this year.
“Why not help our own friends? I mean, we need to build up our own community first,” Williams explained.
According a 2019 Small Business Saturday consumer insights survey, for every $100 spent at a local small business, $48 is circulated in the local economy. While shopping at a big box store or national retailer, gives $14 back to the economy.
David Bizianes, president of the Oldham County Chamber of Commerce explained that small businesses contribute more to their communities than just money.
“Ultimately, you are creating and contributing to what the overall culture of an area is,” Bizianes said. “It’s something that you just don’t do as effectively when you go to a big box place or if you order online. I mean, I think that every time you receive an Amazon order, which we’re guilty and get those things too, you’ve missed an opportunity to go interact with somebody who is making an impact in the community.”
Bowling told Spectrum News 1 she didn’t know what buying local really felt like until she owned her own business.
“Because this isn’t just going into a CEO’s pocket, if you will,” Bowling said. “It’s feeding my kids; it’s helping me clothe them. It’s making our house payment. I’m just going to be honest.”
So for those who like to know who owns a neighborhood restaurant or who makes the holiday gifts in a local shop, they also have to buy local to keep locals in business.
If you have plans to shop local for the holidays or at any point, Bizianes recommends to bring cash for a possible discount when you buy. He explained, there is always a possibility to negotiate prices when you are dealing with small business directly.