Shoppers support Small Business Saturday in Oregon City - KPTV - FOX 12

Shoppers support Small Business Saturday in Oregon City

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A hat inside You Can Leave Your Hat On in downtown Oregon City. A hat inside You Can Leave Your Hat On in downtown Oregon City.

It’s becoming another holiday tradition: buying local on Small Business Saturday to support family businesses, and in turn, local communities and much-needed jobs.

And if downtown Oregon City is any example, it was a great success.

“It’s been phenomenal,” shop owner Sandra Gillman said.

Gillman opened a boutique specializing in women’s hats called You Can Leave Your Hat On a little over four years ago, and said this Small Business Saturday was the busiest she’s seen.

“Yesterday in this tiny store I sold 41 hats, so I’m hoping to break that record today,” she said.

It was a similar story at the dozens of other locally-owned shops and restaurants in downtown Oregon City, where stores offered special sales and discount deals.

“People – even all week – were talking about Small Business Saturday and how they were going to come in on Saturday,” Pam Tatom of The Flat Boutique said.  “I opened an hour early and I stayed open two hours late and we’ve been busy all day.”

Supporting local business was not the only incentive.  This is the second year shoppers can earn raffle tickets for cash prizes of $1,500, $1,000 and $500 through the Downtown Oregon City Association. 

The raffle runs through December 12 and shoppers can earn five tickets for spending $100, but Small Business Saturday shoppers earned twice as many tickets at the roughly 50 participating businesses.

“It’s a really exciting way for people to come down and see our businesses, but also get a chance to win $1,500,” said Jonathan Stone, the Executive Director of the Downtown Oregon City Association.

“I found some jeans, shoes and a couple of sweaters.  Went crazy!” shopper Heather Hoesl said, adding that she prefers to shop at locally-owned stores.  “[It] keeps the local people thriving and keeps the town thriving.  It’s not just the big corporations, big businesses.”

Across the country, shoppers spent more than $14 billion on Small Business Saturday in 2014, according to American Express.  That figure was expected to hit $14.5 in 2015.

“Neighbors refer neighbors, ‘Hey, did you go down to The Flat?  Did you go down to the bakery?’” Gillman explained.  “So it’s been a lot of fun.”

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