Buena Vista – The Friday after Thanksgiving is traditionally Black Friday, when the holiday shopping season begins with a frenzy.

The following day, however, highlights small, locally owned businesses.

Member Small Business Saturday deals will be posted on the Buena Vista Chamber of Commerce website.

“One thing small businesses can offer that a person on the internet cannot is that friendly, approachable face-to-face interaction,” said Matt Wells, owner of Black Burro Bikes on South Main. Wells said the store would be offering a 10 percent discount to any customer with an ID that proves they’re local to the Arkansas Valley.

“Small-town shops like ours really have the opportunity to provide a level of customer service that you can’t and will not find when you’re interacting in an online buying experience,” he said.

At Rustic Woods at East Main and U.S. 24, owner Jenny Erchul said the store will host an open house “with cider and cookies; we’re going to be offering some promotions like a free gift with a certain dollar amount purchased.

“We’re also going to be having a drawing. If you spend x amount of dollars you can put your name in for a bigger-ticket item to win for free if your name gets pulled in that drawing,” Erchul said.

Rock Paper Scissors on East Main will offer 10 percent off any item in the shop and 20 percent off any houseplants, as well as an additional 5 percent off if customers play and win a game of rock, paper, scissors, store owner Victoria Hock said. The store will also offer free cider and cookies.

“I feel like it kind of kicks off the holiday season for us,” Hock said. “It’s just nice after summer winds down and all the tourists are gone to reconnect with the community and people that live here.”

Supporting local businesses, not only on this Saturday, supports the people who live and work in the same community and supports the unique business environment of Buena Vista, largely free from big nationwide chains.

“Keep the money local. Support the people who live and work in your community instead of just buying from the big box stores or shopping online,” Erchul said.

Hock said that “by supporting local businesses, people are supporting their community … people will find things they can’t find at Walmart. Lots of handmade goods. It’s a nice opportunity for people to support artists and craftspeople.”

“We’ve been in business for many years and have a great local following and feel that our customers enjoy coming in and finding items in our store that are either handmade locally or handmade in Colorado or are just unique and different from what you can get at run-of-the-mill-type stores,” Erchul said.

Lem1031 hair studio on Main Street will offer a discount on all Paul Mitchell products, owner Leanna Miller said. In her industry, the advantage local shops have is that they can be very specialized.

“People have that day where they can come out and do some stocking-stuffer gifts, things they couldn’t find anywhere else,” Miller said.

Wells said, “Small mountain towns have a tough existence. … Our town, in our industry at least, relies on tourism traffic, people coming here to recreate, and we rely on the town embracing that recreation as an economic stimulus. There’s no large industry here, it’s not easy to find a job here. So owning a small business is challenging, but we have the ability right now to dream up anything we want in BV. We’re here at a really cool time in the town’s history as the town evolves and grows, and I want to be a part of that.

“I do think people around here try to support small businesses as often as they can,” Wells said.

The Chaffee County Times in Buena Vista is published by Arkansas Valley Publishing Co., the parent company of The Mountain Mail.

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