ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - The Cenla Chamber of Commerce has been anticipating Small Business Saturday all week.
Chris and Hannah Verzwyvelt, owners of Hidden Grounds coffee shop in Pineville | Credit: KALB
With Christmas shopping in full swing, and on the heels of Black Friday, many of those local businesses spent Friday prepping for a big crowd - decorating for the holidays, restocking, and promoting sales. Some closed down shop for the day, and others got a head start.
News Channel 5 spoke with some local retail stores who say Small Business Saturday is one of the most important days of the year.
"The small businesses in your community are kind of what make your community what it is,” said Amanda Beall, owner of Southern Accents Boutique in Alexandria. “So when you're spending money at your local stores, that money is staying local. It's getting spent at restaurants here; it's getting spent at other shops here. We do sponsorships a lot for schools, churches."
"You're not going to get the customer service and the quality of things that you're going to get here from these big box stores,” added Terra Home owner Carla Ledet. “It's really hard these days to have a business. People don't realize what goes into it, and it's just really great to go out and support those local businesses."
Retail isn't the only form of small business in Cenla. While you're out and about on Saturday, make sure to stop by your favorite locally-owned restaurant to re-fuel, or maybe even try something new.
Things like restaurants, coffee shops, breweries and salons, just to name a few, all play a part in making Cenla unique. Owners of Hidden Grounds coffee shop in Pineville, Hannah and Chris Verzwyvelt, told us just how big of a role shops like theirs play in the community.
"We have done a lot of work with our farmer's market, with Inglewood,” said Chris. “I've roasted for a local brewery a couple of times. So, we try to use our business to support other local businesses as well. And any time there's an opportunity to do fundraising or to raise money for X, Y, or Z, we're usually happy to jump on board."
"And when you go to small businesses, you'll find something that you probably can't find anywhere else, because it's unique to that business,” Hannah added.
The Verzwyvelts also said another way they support local business is by partnering with artists by placing different pieces around the shop that are available for purchase.
Store hours may vary on Saturday, so make sure to give businesses a call before heading out.
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