Saturday had small businesses thinking big

By Per Peterson

Other cities might have more stores, and no one can argue the convenience of shopping online, but Tracy continues to prove that you don’t have to travel or risk identity theft to fill your Christmas list.

Proof of that could be seen over the weekend on Small Business Saturday, when Tracy businesses welcomed shoppers into their stores a day after Black Friday.

“It’s great that all the businesses are working together,” said business owner Dale Johnson III. “I think it’s showing people in Tracy that everything you need you can get in Tracy. I thought everything went very well. We had a lot of people in the door, a lot of people seeing different things that we have.”

Johnson is the owner of both Midwest Supply and Tracy Builders Supply. He said he has added to his inventory in numerous ways, in a way, rebranding his store on the highway with new items like Carhartt, which has done its own rebranding.

“People who came in buying some of the women’s Carhartt stuff we have — they said, ‘Well, we couldn’t find any of this women’s stuff in Marshall,” Johnson said. “And they’re looking at men’s Carhartt stuff, too.”

Small Business Saturday became a thing in 2011 when the Senate passed a resolution in support of a day in which officials from all 50 states take part in an effort to support small businesses. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, projected spending among U.S. consumers who shopped at independent retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday historically reached an estimated $19.8 billion according to a 2020 Small Business Saturday survey.

Johnson said Small Business Saturday a year ago was a hit as well, since many people chose to stay close to home because of the pandemic. This year, he said, people are much more out-and-about, but the small-town sentiment remains the same, at least when it comes to shopping.

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.