Independent shops go big on Small Business Saturday

By , KYW Newsradio

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Small Business Saturday is back. The day after Black Friday has become a day set aside for holiday shoppers to buy local to support businesses in our region.

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There are about 160 independent businesses on a 1-mile stretch along East Passyunk Avenue in South Philadelphia. Many are celebrating Small Business Saturday. Among them is Dana Barbieri, co-owner of the Deja 42 art gallery.

"Every little dollar goes along like right now especially, and just you know getting out after this long duress as it were, is such a great opportunity to come and show your community support," she said.

"Things are constantly changing. Supply chains are a mess right now," said Andrew Campbell, general manager of Art in the Age, a tasting room, bottle shop, and home bar supply business in Old City.

"It's strange ... you think about back when things were 'normal,' like two years ago now and it was like, 'Wow...' We thought we were stressed then and now there's a new variant, so we have to keep on our toes 24/7."

Adam Leiter, executive director of the East Passyunk Avenue Business Improvement District, said despite the overwhelming support shown during the pandemic, there are still businesses scrambling to keep themselves going.

"There are places that are still really hustling and working hard to make it through. There are a lot of people who have reinvested back into their businesses to keep things going," he said.

Storefront of Art in the Age, behind plant tubs.
Art in the Age is a tasting room, bottle shop, and home bar supply business in Old City. Photo credit John McDevitt/KYW Newsradio

"They're really relying on on the public support to keep going, because when people support local businesses, that's what makes a corridor like ours so unique."

Campbell agreed, adding partnerships between small businesses are big right now.

"We have a local café pop-up that is serving up some incredible lattes," he said.

Dana Barbieri in front of her art gallery, Deja 42.
Dana Barbieri co-owns Deja 42, an art gallery on East Passyunk Avenue. Photo credit John McDevitt/KYW Newsradio

"Then every weekend throughout December, we're going to have our Art in the Age holiday market, where we are going to feature plant people, ceramicists ... Harriett's Bookshop will be here, a couple of vintage clothing markets."

Many small businesses in the region are also offering discounts, giveaways and treats for dogs and humans to celebrate the day. Merchants are hoping that the support from Small Business Saturday extends into the rest of the holiday shopping season.

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