MONTROSE — Last Saturday, the term "shop small" was on everyone's mind who ventured downtown to check out the stores and and restaurants lining Montrose's iconic Main Street. While exact economic and attendance figures from the day remain unclear, the city’s first Small Business Saturday was deemed a success, as thousands of Montrose residents chose to support its local entrepreneurs.
"It was incredible. At times there was so many people that I didn't know if they would all fit," said Sonja Horn, owner of Fabula, a downtown home gift boutique.
Fabula opened on Sept. 28 of this year. While Horn said she had could not compare Saturday’s sales to previous holiday shopping seasons, she was still amazed at the turnout.
"I was really too busy to notice if there was a line out of the door," she added.
Horn said the most of the store’s sales were in housewares, children's toys and Christmas cards.
At A&Y Design Gallery, Yesenia Duncan, who owns the store with her husband, Adam, said foot traffic was up, and many people took advantage of in-store specials.
"We had a lot of people in and it was great day for sales. We had quite a few discounts that people took advantage of," Duncan said.
Duncan added that much of the customer feedback she received was centered on supporting local businesses rather than large retail stores, regardless of how tempting Black Friday deals were.
In the days following Small Business Saturday, Duncan spoke with many other local business owners who said they, too, had recorded strong sales.
Sandwiched between the two largest holiday shopping days of the year – Black Friday and Cyber Monday – Small Business Saturday was created to try and keep some of the millions of dollars people spend during the holidays local.
"It was a really fun day to be downtown, and it was really encouraging to see so many people out," Montrose Downtown Development Authority Director Scott Shine said.
A press release Shine received from the Small Business Saturday Coalition stated that the DDA's participation "helped us break all records with over 350 organizations and over 225 public officials across the country coming together on behalf of small business."
Shine said Small Business Saturday was a good way to promote family fun, through downtown hay rides donated by Montrose Implement and Motor Sports and the opening of Santa's Cabin in Centennial Plaza.
This Saturday, the annual Parade of Lights is scheduled from 5:30 to 9 p.m. On Dec. 14, Merriment on Main will feature a number of children's activities including an Elf costume contest, a scavenger hunt and free hay rides. Many stores downtown will have extended hours on Dec. 6, 13 and 20. For more information, visit montrosedowntown.com.