Small Business

Adam Lederer / Flickr

Thursday is Thanksgiving: a time to be with friends and family, eat too much and remember the things in life that really matter. But come Friday – Black Friday – all bets are off. Elbows are thrown in malls, people have been lined up outside some stores for weeks to get a big screen for a bargain basement price and all that affirmation we felt the day before about what matters is thrown out the window when we see a pair of moms on the news clawing at the last doll on a shelf.

Holiday shopping, Downtown Boise, Retail
Downtown Boise Association / Instagram

As Black Friday approaches, cities in Idaho are reminding shoppers to think about local stores too.

American Express has popularized Small Business Saturday over the last few years. But in McCall, the idea of shopping local during the holidays is a tradition that pre-dates the credit card company’s initiative. That’s according to Nicole Musgrove of McCall’s Chamber of Commerce.

“I think most people try to buy anything they can from local businesses,” says Musgrove.

Grocery shopping is on almost everyone’s weekly list. For many households, that means driving to the supermarket, or an even larger discount mega-store, and loading our carts to the brim with our favorite brands. But grocery shopping wasn’t always this way. A century ago, small mom-and-pop grocers dotted street corners, staffed by storekeepers who packaged bulk items for customers they knew by name. Today, the retail landscape continues to change, as more of us go online for a variety of purchases.

Bricolage

Chelsea Snow opened Bricolage in 2010, when the economy was still bleeding from the wounds of the Great Recession. The downtown Boise store sells things like handmade jewelry, cards and clothes.

But Snow’s vision was to create more than just a store – she wanted to make a community space where crafters of all levels could learn new skills. She hosted workshops on crafts like sewing and printmaking.

Downtown Boise Association

The hashtag is #ShopSmallBoise, but the Downtown Association hopes Small Business Saturday translates to big money for shops and restaurants.

“Shopping local and shopping small businesses is a way to keep your community vibrant," say Karlee May of the Downtown Boise Association (DBA). "Having that exciting atmosphere to go shop in – and to remember that the small businesses need your support just as much as anybody else.”

Small Business Owners Rank Idaho ‘Friendliest’ State

May 8, 2012
Thumbtack.com

A new survey out today from Thumbtack.com, an online job service, and the Kauffman Foundation finds Idaho, Texas, Oklahoma and Utah are the friendliest states for small businesses.