Although small businesses are celebrated in Montgomery County multiple times throughout the year, there’s something special about Small Business Saturday to one long-time small business owner.
“It’s one of the nicest days to work because a lot of customers haven’t been here this long,” Ginger Armstrong, 71, owner of Artisans Gallery in Gaithersburg. “A lot of customers make a point that day of coming in and saying hello and supporting us that day. There are people who will drive distances just in order to support us that day and it’s very moving for me.”
Armstrong started her business nearly three decades ago. The business offers merchandise including gifts, handmade crafts and jewelry.
Armstrong says that Small Business Saturday is a day she enjoys working on the most.
Small businesses are celebrated multiple times throughout the year with Small Business Week starting in April and leading into Small Business Month in May and as everyone is preparing for the gift giving season in December Small Business Saturday is celebrated after Black Friday.
Even though Small Business Saturday is typically for just one day, some businesses, like Armstrong’s offer specials and deals throughout the entire weekend.
Small businesses can be found throughout Montgomery County, from clothing boutiques and craft shops to cafes and restaurants.
“The small business community in Montgomery County, it’s an incredible range of industries that range from everything from cybersecurity to incredible food and beverage opportunities,” said Gigi Godwin, president and CEO of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce. “We all know that small businesses is such a critical part of our economy, not only nationally, which you read about and hear about, but right here in Montgomery County.”
Celebrating small businesses is important, not just for the businesses, but the communities they’re in, according to Godwin.
“Not only do small businesses offer incredibly creative, interesting, curated gift options – which we’re thinking about this time of year, with so many holidays coming up that involve gift giving – but small business [do] that every day of the year,” Godwin said. “We have to remember that our small businesses are, and you hear this often, the backbone of our nation’s economy and plays such an important role in providing job opportunities, but also lead in creativity.”
There are a variety of small businesses throughout Montgomery County, whether you’re in Rockville, Gaithersburg or Silver Spring. Chambers in each community offer a directory of businesses big and small that are members, making it easier for people to find a small local business specializing in their gift needs.
Armstrong said her businesses has a lot of foot traffic on Small Business Saturday.
“The significance of supporting small business is that the money stays in the community,” she said. “That’s probably economically one of the best things, that by supporting your neighbors and community members, you are allowing them to support grocery stores and all that kind of stuff too. For people who like to shop at big box stores, I think they would find the service that we give here phenomenal.”
But the support towards the businesses is often needed throughout the year, according to Godwin.
“It’s important [to support small businesses] at this time of the year, but it’s important every day of the year, if we want our small business community, that provides so many jobs, to succeed,” she said. “Every day should be small business day.”