With Black Friday and Cyber Monday representing how much bigger commerce is getting, local shoppers and business owners were reminded Saturday of the customer service and community stewardship small, local stores provide.
“Small Business Saturday” was started by American Express in 2010 to promote small, local businesses. Temperatures reached into the 40s by the afternoon, complementing what the staff of Judy’s GoodLife Emporium in downtown Logansport said was starting out to be a good weekend of shopping.
“You don’t get big businesses without small businesses,” said Judy Masters, owner of the store, which sells alternative and holistic health products.
Some continue to grow while others stop where they’re comfortable, she continued. After 15 years, Judy’s GoodLife Emporium has grown to the comfort level of two employees — Diana Brown and Sue Davidson.
“We are where we want to be,” Masters said, adding that a big part of businesses’ comfort levels has to do with the comfort level of their customers. “Some people don’t want to fight the big box. Everyone needs some level of quaintness.”
Brandon Busch, a Logansport resident, is one such customer.
“She knows what she’s talking about,” he said as Brown rang up his order at the cash register Saturday afternoon. “She takes her time, listens and doesn’t try to sell me a bunch of stuff I don’t need.”
Pam Peters, a regular at the store, said what small, local businesses like Judy’s GoodLife Emporium lack in space, staff and product, they more than make up for in customer service.
“Customer service is kind of becoming extinct,” she said. “In big stores, you’re lucky if you see a service person.”
Over on the east side of Logansport, Jerry Arnold said his business, Arnold’s Fine Jewelry and Gifts, was experiencing a “fantastic day” in the outset of the holiday shopping season, describing a busy Saturday morning that lasted into the afternoon.