TWIN FALLS • Friday was for the retail giants. Monday is for the cyber crowds. But Saturday was for supporting small businesses.
In 2010, American Express began a nationwide effort to promote Small Business Day. The idea was to encourage shoppers kicking off their holiday shopping to search out neighborhood mom-and-pop boutiques immediately after Black Friday.
While big retail companies competed for the public’s attention, time, and money on Friday, many of the smaller shops in the Magic Valley refrained from participating in the post-Thanksgiving madness.
Instead, local shop owners spent Saturday offering special deals and urging folks to remember to shop local.
The main focus was to raise awareness of local businesses and to find ways to support shop owners, said Jennifer Phornquest, an independent consultant for Rodan and Fields Dermatologist, a skincare company.
Phornquest helped sponsor a relaxation happy hour for local shop owners at Elevation 486 on Saturday.
She worked with the restaurant to offer appetizers, drinks and different stress-relieving stations, like neck massages, for business owners. The event was also open to the public, allowing more people to meet and mingle with the local business community.
“I see corporate companies throw holiday parties for their employees every year, and sometimes the smaller guys just can’t do that to the same scale,” Phornquest said. “This is a way to celebrate that won’t tax the shop owners.”
While local to the Magic Valley, Phornquest just recently moved back to Twin Falls. She admires the community’s support of local businesses and hopes the spirit continues throughout the holiday season.
“There really isn’t a reason why you couldn’t do all your holiday shopping by visiting small businesses,” she said.
Twin Falls’ downtown consignment boutique, Ooh La La Shop, also participated in the spirit of Small Business Day.
Shop owner Liyah Babayan filled pink balloons with coupons of varying amounts. Customers were encouraged to stomp on a balloon to cash in their discount.
“It’s almost insulting to compete with the bigger chains on Friday,” she said. “But it’s so critical to have the community’s involvement with small businesses. I’m so excited to get the chance to participate.”