Shoppers support local businesses in Downtown Mobile for small business Saturday

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – It was a day dedicated to local shopping and supporting small businesses for Small Business Saturday.

Not only do small businesses provide great shopping experiences, but they also ensure that the community thrives.

People were heading to Downtown Mobile to shop locally.

“If we don’t support them, they won’t be here and we want them to exist, so it’s really important to show our support to them on a special day like this,” said Nicole Moore, Urban Emporium Store Manager .

Urban Emporium in Downtown Mobile is the ultimate small business shopping experience. There isn’t just one store to shop in, there are 34.

“We have 34 different individual vendors in Urban Emporium. They shop in one place but with 34 different local owners and I think that’s really special and the whole aim is to help them grow and start their business and eventually open their own business.” said Moore.

Moore said when people shop at Urban Emporium, they help create success stories.

“We have the Velvet Lab that just graduated a few months ago, so it gives them that extra boost of helping them start their own business,” Moore said.

Shoppers were happy to show some love to some small businesses after it was the turn of the big department stores on Black Friday.

“You get unique things that you won’t find at big retailers, you know you’re getting local artisans and local artists making things, especially things that are specific to the community,” said Jenifer McCormick.

Just a few blocks from the Urban Emporium, Do Goods Mercantile gets a lot of walk-in customers. The store is filled with merchandise from companies that give back to the community on a large scale.

“Some of the companies hire people who are at risk, others donate to charities they hear about or to government departments in their area, but every company represented here has a mission of sorts,” said Annie Persinger. Owner of Do Goods.

Persinger said small purchases mean you’re supporting local families.

“Rather than shopping in big department stores where it doesn’t have a huge impact on the individual, this actually puts the resources back into the community and supports the businesses to thrive here,” Persinger said.

Some shoppers said they only make small purchases so that in return they can support the local economy.

“I think that’s the foundation of a community, you know, the people who work the hardest and make the most money are the small businesses,” said Amber Lathan, “and I was a small business owner, so I know how much work goes into it and it can be really difficult at times so I’d rather put my money on small people than big people.”

Even though Small Business Saturday is over, you can still support your local small businesses any day of the week.

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