Jacqui Watkins from Newburgh Mercantile says Small Business Saturday makes a big difference in her bottom line.
"It's essential that we have success on this day because it kind of sets the pattern for the rest of the month," says Watkins. "And, we pick up repeat customers."
She's a Newburgh native who's grandfather used to own stores in the 60s on Broadway — a fact she didn't even know until she opened four years ago — and she says there is something for everyone.
"It's kind of a personal thing for me because my family is very proud," says Watkins. "They're very proud of our success and they're very proud to see one of us in this position."
She says there is something for everyone in her store, at all price levels.
"One thing that is always important to me, for instance, is to have products in my store that are at a price point that a little girl who looks like me can walk in and get a $3 product as a gift for her mother," says Watkins, who says she recognizes the need for diverse representation and role models for young girls and women. "I want to show her as someone that looks like her can grow up and have a business, be a business person. "
Local businesses in Newburgh want you to shop small and stay local, and the small business community hopes events like Small Business Saturday will help people discover what is available in Newburgh.
"Newburgh was a hub and a center of commerce 100 years ago and, it's kind of waned and declined," says co-organizer and creator of Newburgh Restoration blog Cher Vickers. "So we're trying to reprogram people that you come downtown to shop."
Watkins, Vickers and owner of APG Pilates Angela Paul-Gaito joined forces to promote Small Business Saturday in Newburgh to help generate foot traffic and momentum. Paul-Gaito says the teamwork is important, and supporting each other as business owners and customers vital, especially for service-oriented businesses like hers.
"I'll go buy to Jacqui [Watkins] and she'll take my class and I can talk about her business to other people and be aware of what to offer,"
Around 30 businesses participated in this first crawl and some customers came out even before the event officially started to check out retailers and businesses.
Nine-year-old Alexis Fedorko and her mother Colleen came from East Fishkill for a candy cane making demonstration, but discovered Newburgh Mercantile while walking.
"This looked like a cute little shop and I like the idea of taking her to local shops," says Fedorko. "There are so many things in these shops like these candles that they don't have in the big shops, they're made locally."
Helping people find those unique items is a feeling these small business owners hope sticks around all year.
"When you need to buy a gift for a special occasion, instead of going to the mall, support your local shop," says Watkins. "It's really important because even though today is really busy, the rest of the year it's a struggle."