Small biz Saturday promotes buying in Carson City

Pushing options unavailable in big box stores, shop small movement supporters in Carson City are urging residents and visitors to think Small Business Saturday and beyond.

Michael Riggs, president of the Downtown Business Association, and Ronni Hannaman, executive director of Carson City’s Chamber of Commerce, said shoppers will benefit by looking to small businesses rather than in big box stores this Saturday and during the holiday season. The Saturday after Thanksgiving is Small Business Saturday, a tradition promoted nationwide by American Express since 2010.

“The idea is a great idea,” said Riggs, though he wasn’t ecstatic about last year’s Small Business Saturday here.

“Residents don’t all understand the unique shops that we have,” he said, “and it’s particularly important for downtown businesses.”

Riggs, who operates Economy Speed Press downtown and Monarch Direct elsewhere in Carson City, said the Downtown Business Association he heads, the small business network throughout the community, and residents see economic benefits from keeping purchases local and money circulating here.

“I know that most of the shops downtown are eager and hoping we have a good turnout,” Riggs said. “And if people don’t shop this Saturday, there is always next Saturday with the wine walk.” The first Saturday of December, as well as every month during the year, is wine walk day in Nevada’s capital community.

“It’s so important to our local economy,” said Riggs, urging shoppers to think small throughout the season and all year long. “It’s not all about the big box stores.”

Hannaman had a similar approach when asked about Small Business Saturday and the shop small movement.

“I think it is a great way for people to see what’s in their community, to see what’s not in the big box stores,” she said. “I really think people should get out and enjoy what’s here.”

She took the opportunity to plug her own artisan store spinoff at the chamber’s office just west of South Carson Street near the Railroad Museum. Recalling her own roots in retailing, Hannaman plans libations and refreshments Saturday at the artisan store and chamber offices and noted she has new stock from local artisans coming in for this holiday season.

Carson City’s local appeal was earlier featured in Nevada Travel’s NevadaGram this month.

“…In my mind the true mark of a city is whether or not you can do all your Christmas shopping there,” David Toll wrote in the NevadaGram. “Amazingly perhaps, if you haven’t been paying attention, Carson City qualifies. There are brand name box stores clustered here and there in Carson City now, along with a zesty sprinkle of smaller shops downtown.”

He said he chose to highlight holiday shopping in Nevada’s capital because it can sometimes be overlooked.

“If you see it every day, you kind of take it for granted,” he said. “You don’t see it as this cool place. But it really is.”


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