Shop Small, Spend Big

Small Business Saturday puts the focus on independent retailers

Shopping when you are on vacation almost feels like spending someone else’s money. When you have the opportunity to buy something you can’t find at home, the price tends to be inconsequential. So if you are traveling over the Thanksgiving holiday, why not shop small?

Small Business Saturday is part of a national movement and sponsored by American Express since 2010. Compared to Black Friday, where many chain store retailers make significant revenue, Small Business Saturday focuses on small, local businesses that also rely on increased holiday sales to survive through the year.

Local New Orleans jewelry/metal artist and business owner Gogo Borgerding has been running a store on Magazine Street for 11 years. Its current location at 2036 Magazine Street is situated on a block with numerous local businesses that rely on both tourists and locals for customers.

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“The money spent at my store helps support eight young up-and-coming artists, mostly from New Orleans. Their livelihood is dependent on small stores like mine to keep them in business,” said Borgerding. “I also have two employees at the moment, and when New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival time of year arrives, I hire a few more people to help me with my jewelry.”

The Magazine Street corridor is perfect for walking from shop to shop, with plenty of restaurants and bars interspersed for refreshment.

When asked about the importance of location for her shop, Borgerding said, “Having a storefront on Magazine Street helps. Some tourists only see the French Quarter and don't realize there is so much more on Magazine. When they do, they are so happy to be shopping on such a great street. They want to buy from mom-and-pop shops, instead of something they can find at home.”

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Borgerding said that customer service is one key to keeping a small business healthy and takes pride in the level of service she and her staff provide to her customers.

If you want to celebrate Small Business Saturday with a second line on black Friday, that’s an option too. Located on the other side of town from Magazine Street, the festivities will focus on St. Claude Avenue businesses that have been impacted by the construction on the streetcar line, but will hopefully benefit from that as well.

The second line will begin and end at the New Orleans Healing Center where a holiday pop-up market will be set up from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. The second line will roll at 12:00 p.m. with the Soul Brass Band so you can dance off your Thanksgiving calories. Planned shopping stops along the route include Maypop Community Herb Shop, Faubourg Wines and Byrdie’s Pottery Studio.

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Whether you’re Uptown, Downtown or both on Saturday, remember to spend big and shop small. 



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