Exeter businesses, Chamber of Commerce look past Black Friday to Shop Small Saturday


EXETER – After the hustle and bustle of Black Friday shopping, many consumers will turn their attention to small, local businesses on Saturday, Nov. 25 to celebrate Small Business Saturday.

Small Business Saturday was founded in 2010 by American Express, which caters its services to small business accounts, and has since turned into an annual tradition dedicated to supporting small businesses, and celebrating communities across the Country with a record level of support. According to the Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, an estimated 112 million consumers shopped small on Small Business Saturday in 2016, which is a 13 percent increase from 2015. Not only was there an influx in consumers, but there was in influx in neighborhood champions as well. There were over 6,700 neighborhood champions who organized events and activities to rally their neighborhoods last year, which was a 63 percent increase from the year prior.

Mark Hull, owner of Exeter Hobbies, says Black Friday has been a historically bad day for his hobby shop and R/C rental race track but that the next day, Small Business Saturday, has seen a slight increase over the years.

“We are just now starting to see an uptick for holiday shopping, which is a little earlier than I expected,” Hull said.

Hull, whose name has become synonymous with high-quality, highly customizable drones for all types of uses in the Valley, said most of his sales during the holidays shopping season are for entry-level remote control cars and trucks and drones. A Micro R/C truck retails at Exeter Hobbies for $59.99 while a tiny Bumblebee drone is sold at $64.99.

“These are great for kids just learning how to use the controls but still have enough features for teens and adults to tinker,” Hull said. “Even the smaller drones now come with cameras and first person view controls as the technology gets cheaper and smaller.”

In honor of Small Business Saturday, Hull will be offering in-store specials at Exeter Hobbies, located at 130 E. Maple St. in Exeter. Exeter Hobbies, officially listed as TGN Inc., is one of 82 businesses in Exeter listed on its Shop Small Map recognizing small businesses that participate in Small Business Saturday and who support other local businesses.

Many communities around the nation are also hosting special events, including Exeter. From 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 25, the Exeter Chamber of Commerce is offering free carriage rides on N. E St. throughout downtown Exeter. For more information, contact the Exeter Chamber of Commerce at 559-592-2919.

Supporting local businesses can be turned into a great event shared with friends and family members. You can visit your favorite local stores, try some new ones, or get a head start on the holidays. No matter what you choose, you’ll be enjoying this time with some loved ones.

In Exeter, The Rock Yard Tavern recently opened as a pub featuring locally made craft beers. It’s sure to be a great spot for high school classmates to reunite with friends returning home from college for the holiday weekend.

But before you begin your search for where to enjoy a relaxing shopping experience far from the door busters of Black Friday, the BBB offers some tips to improve your shopping experience.

Do your research

  • Be sure to check businesses ahead of time with BBB, and find out what past customers have to say.
  • You should also find out what stores and businesses in your area are participating in Small Business Saturday by visiting shopsmall.org.

Sign-up for email alerts

  • Many stores have Small Business Saturday specials via email. Be sure to sign up to receive emails from your favorite local businesses so you don’t miss out.

Receipts and warranty information

  • When purchasing a gift for someone, it’s always smart to ask for a gift receipt. This way the recipient can return or exchange a gift if need be. It’s also appropriate to pass along any warranty or return information that is tied to the item purchased.

Social media

  • Small businesses recognize the power of social media. To get the latest news, sales and promotions, follow small businesses on social media. Many of them will post information here first. Use #ShopSmall to search for information or to share plans with your friends.

The BBB is asking people to take a selfie at their favorite small business. Share it on social media with hashtags #BBB and #ShopSmall and tell the world why you love small businesses.

For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust.

In 2016, people turned to BBB more than 167 million times for BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.2 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org.

There are local, independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Central California & Inland Empire Counties which was founded in 1950 and serves Fresno, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Mono, Tulare, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.

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