Local shops benefit from Small Business Saturday


GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – Shoppers across the country were encouraged to visit locally-owned businesses as part of Small Business Saturday.

Business owners in Green Bay’s Broadway District see the focus of shopping local having an impact on future development.

“I think all the advertising makes people think to shop local, so we see a lot of new faces and a lot of people who don’t frequent the Broadway District,” said Krista Evrard, co-owner of ZuLou. “There’s so many new stores that have opened. We’ve been here two years, and there’s already two or three or four new ones, so it’s really thriving.”

One store next to ZouLu is Pete’s Garage, which participated in its first Small Business Saturday this year.

“Shopping small and shopping local versus purchasing online supports local businesses, supports ourselves,” said Pete’s Garage Manager Todd Loessel. “As employees here, for years to come they have somebody they can come back for service and advice.”

Some shop owners talked about how the dollars spent at the Broadway District go beyond any one particular store or restaurant.

“The focus of shopping small means that there is a little more percentage of a dollar staying in your local community,” said Rachel Sowinski, owner of The Gift Itself. “Supporting small businesses means it’s staying local, as opposed to going to a large, big box store in a different state, different country. It’s quite a huge ripple effect when you consider the number of people that do get impacted by that dollar.”

The network of business owners along Broadway collaborate to help keep the district growing.

“Trying to keep it neighborhood friendly,” Evrard said, “where we like people that live in the neighborhood that can walk down here, eat down here, shop down here, and with all the new housing on the east side, it’s just more people walking around. More foot traffic.”

The hope is that Small Business Saturday creates a shift in people’s shopping habits.

“Don’t just shop small today,” Sowinski said. “Every day makes a huge impact on all of us small business owners, so if you consider us beyond a big box store, it’s always appreciated.”