Jacksonville’s homegrown stores seek local love on Small Business Saturday

They are open in Avondale and Atlantic Beach, as well as in San Marco, Riverside and all shopping districts in Jacksonville and its beaches.

And after Black Friday shoppers flock to the big national retailers, the owners of these Mom and Pop stores are hoping local shoppers will throng their stores on Small Business Saturday.

San Marco Merchants Association board member Jen Burnham said Small Business Saturday helps neighborhood business and restaurant owners “pay the bills like a family.” He co-owns Lush Leaves at 1566 Hendricks Ave with wife Brandi Burnham. They grow and sell unique indoor plants and offer plant therapy, landscape design and other services.

“The best thing you can do for the holidays is shop small,” said Jen Burnham. “You’re not just supporting a big store, you’re supporting someone’s dreams and their ability to provide for their family. So if you can buy the same merchandise and support a local business at the same time, it’s greatly appreciated.”

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American Express launched Small Business Saturday in 2010. Its annual Consumer Insights Survey shows that total reported anticipated spending among U.S. consumers who shopped at independent retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday is estimated to reach $23.3 billion in 2021 USD. This represents an increase of 18% from $19.8 billion. pre-pandemic spending of $19.6 billion in 2020 and 2019, according to a survey by American Express.

The Florida Small Business Development Center’s 2021 Prosperity Report indicates that small businesses in the state had a $3.9 billion impact on the state’s economy. And the Florida Small Business Development Center at the University of North Florida revealed $169.7 million in regional sales in its North Florida region, which covers 18 counties including Duval, Nassau, St. Johns and Clay.

Jen Burnham said the San Marco community has always supported its small businesses, many of which could only walk to the shops and restaurants on Hendricks Avenue and San Marco Boulevard. So he hopes Saturday will bring them “a busy little business.”

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“It’s not just my wife and I, it’s 12 other local vendors in those locations,” she said. “They’re manufacturers of all kinds, so when you stop in a place like our store, you’re supporting several businesses at once.”

There are also several local Small Business Saturday events.

  • Downtown Vision, a nonprofit organization working to revitalize that part of town, is hosting a Small Business Celebration Saturday to promote local shopping. And that includes an early bird QR Code Scavenger – the first 100 shoppers to find and scan at least five QR codes at local stores will win a $20 #DTJax e-gift card. And all shoppers who scan at least five QR codes will be entered into a drawing for prize baskets from downtown businesses.
  • A weekly gathering of locally owned businesses, the Riverside Arts Market operates from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at its usual location under the Mathews Bridge, at 715 Riverside Ave.
  • It’s the 33rd annual Made in the South Christmas with dozens of local artisans and businesses from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Prime Osborn Convention Center at 1000 Water St.
  • The Jacksonville Melanin Market will be sponsoring the Real Black Friday Market from 11am to 4pm the day after Thanksgiving at 822 A Philip Randolph Blvd. More than 125 black-owned businesses, nonprofits, and artist vendors will participate.
  • And as the city’s annual Light Boat Parade prepares for its sunset Saturday run along the central stretch of the St. Johns, 904 Pop Up will be held from 4:00pm to 9:00pm at the former Jacksonville Landing location, at 2 W. Independent Drive. More than 200 local creatives, makers and artists will participate in the event.
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