November 25, 2018 Business 0 Views AUSTIN (KXAN) – Small business in central Texas celebrated Small Business Saturday. It has…
AUSTIN (KXAN) – Small business in central Texas celebrated Small Business Saturday.
It has become an annual tradition on Saturday after Thanksgiving to encourage people to shop small and give their business to locally owned stores.
Data from American Express shows that 83 percent of customers said they planned to make at least part of their vacation expenses in an independently owned business this year.
“You know we have over 1
00,000 people in our city that work in small businesses,” City of Austin Mayor Steve Adler said. “It’s really the economic engine that does our city work.”
But with the growing popularity of online shopping, more and more people are turning to the internet for their gifts.
“It may be a bit cheaper online, but you really support your local infrastructure when shopping here and at many other small businesses,” said Ezra Ferrell. “It’s an experience you can not just watch your computer.”
Ferrell has been employed at the locally owned toy store Terra Toys in Austin for the past four years.
“So much wonder and so much pleasure,” she said. “I think it’s really something you can not get online when you bring your child to make her Christmas list here, it’s not the same as watching a computer screen.”
Longtime Over the Rainbow Toy Store employee Sharon Linsalata agreed and said, “Experience, put it in uppercase letters because it makes a big difference.”
Customers told KXAN that they felt the same way.
Christina Shaltz said shopping at Terra Toys became a tradition after her first son was born eight years ago. Now mom is spending three nights with her family vacation, shopping at the locally owned toy store. (KXAN Photo: Candy Rodriguez)
“Sometimes I’m online, but it’s nothing like bringing the kids to the store and making them choose their special items,” said Christina Shaltz.
Shaltz spent Saturday shopping at Terra Toys with his family. She has visited the toy shop since her husband introduced her to her 15 years ago.
“I like to see things about things,” said Christ Lara smiling. Lara said that this holiday season will be special because it is the first time that her one-year-old son will be able to enjoy Christmas after spending the majority of her first year at the hospital due to complications from being born prematurely.
“I’m old and old-fashioned,” said Sharon Tanner. “I just like watching things and feeling it in my hands.”
KXAN got up with Tanner on Over the Rainbow. Pflugerville grandmother shopped after her grandchildren, but said she liked spending time in the toy shop because it brought back memories of her own childhood.
An employee at Terra Toys at W. Anderson said the size Toy shop Toys R Us closed last summer they have experienced a certain increase in sales, about five percent.
But Over Rainbow employees said they did not notice any difference in their numbers. If anything, they say that KXAN stores have been dense.
They are grateful to be back in business after closing for good earlier this year in January when rent became too high and had to move from their long-standing Exposition Blvd. place. The new store is located on W. 38th Street.  For a full list of locally owned companies in Austin, click here.