Third Ward stores welcome shoppers on 'Small Business Saturday'
MILWAUKEE -- Saturday became a day well worth the wait for small business owners, like Broadway Paper's Kate Strzok. Her Third Ward store was one of thousands participating in the nationwide Small Business Saturday.
\"We're hoping for even more... Better sales, better foot traffic,\" Strzok said.
Last year's event was one of the biggest days of the year for Strzok, calling it her own \"Black Friday.\" Though millions of Americans spent billions at the big box stores, she thinks the Thanksgiving night start actually helped her business.
\"It kind of worked for us, in a strange way,\" Strzok said. \"I will never open on Thanksgiving, but happy that they did because the shoppers were bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for us on Friday.\"
Just down Broadway Street, Bangles and Bags co-owner Jeanette Dvorak couldn't wait to open her doors. She says 'Small Business Saturday' is nice, but it's not just one day for her.
\"It's every day that we come to work and we're taking pride in our business and giving you what we want to present to you to buy at the best selection, best price,\" Dvorak said.
\"Small business is what makes Milwaukee... any town,\" shopper Gail Hammernik said. \"Someone puts their heart into their own business and they hope that it thrives.\"
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and U.S. Congresswoman Gwen Moore both stopped by the Third Ward to do some shopping too.
\"You get things that are interesting, things that are different, things that you can't find in New York or Maine right here in your own neighborhood,\" Moore said.
\"Those dollars are far more likely to stay in the community and have a multiplier effect and be spent again and again and again right here in Milwaukee and southeastern Wisconsin,\" Barrett said.
What the mayor says seems to be true. A survey of Wisconsin shoppers found 70 percent choose small businesses because they appreciate the contributions those stores give back to the community.