Saturday event aims to highlight small business
Shop Owensboro — formerly known as Small Business Saturday — returns this week for the fifth year on the day after Black Friday.
Candance Brake, president of the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce, says 51 merchants — up from 46 last year — have signed up to participate in the effort to draw shoppers to small businesses all over the county on Saturday.
“It’s catching on,” she said. “Our members see it as a great way to get people in the door and make lasting relationships.”
The chamber and Independence Bank, which sponsors Shop Owensboro, will be handing out 500 free shopping bags at Independence Bank locations on Frederica Street and Kentucky 54, starting at 9 a.m.
“There are lots of special offers inside,” Brake said. “But we’ll run out quickly, so people need to get there early. One year, we had lines at Independence Bank’s Frederica location that stretched all the way over to the street — in the rain.”
Both locations will have “music, coffee and good cheer,” she said. “It’s a happening.”
The shopping bags will also contain Bingo cards.
Shoppers can take them to stores to get them marked, so they’ll be eligible for prizes to be given by the merchants the following week, Brake said.
“We had hundreds of entries last year,” she said. “These are nice prizes.”
The first year, “We had a core group that was excited about the idea,” Brake said. “But it wasn’t a hard sell to the others. Some made their sales goal for the day by 10 a.m. Many of them saw customers who had never been in their store before.”
Shop Owensboro, she said, “is putting money back into the local economy.”
The stores will have “fun stuff, drinks and snacks for shoppers,” Brake said. “They set their own hours for the day. A list of stores and their hours will be in the shopping bags.”
Last year, Debi Ford, owner of Simply Chic Home Accents, told a reporter that 2015 had been her best year for sales since Shop Owensboro began.
“But we’re twice as busy this year as we were last,” she said.
Over at Lil Bit Sassy, 125 W. Second St., owner Lisa Aull said, “It’s been fabulous. It’s bigger than my grand opening.”
Other merchants had similar comments.
270 Power Yoga, 3333 Frederica St.
All About You Salon & Spa. 603 Salem Drive
Balance Health + Body, 3830 Kentucky 54
Bella Regazza. 120A W. Second St.
Boutique 54, 3245 Mt. Moriah Ave.
Bushay’s, 4431 Springhill Drive
Byron & Barclay, 121 E. Second St.
Consumer Mall, 2930 Kentucky 144
Crazy Me Gifts & Apparel, 227 Williamsburg Square
Dalishas Desserts, 1010 Allen St.
Embellish, 2920 Frederica St.
En Vogue, 3053 Alvey Park Drive W.
Excursions, 2738 Frederica St.
Gene’s Health Food, 1738 Sweeney St.
Hillview Farms Meats, 5024 Lee Rudy Road
J’s Liquors, 2216 New Hartford Road
KidStop Boutique, 2660 Frederica St.
Lance & Co., 2730 Frederica St.
Legends, 325 Park Plaza Drive
Lil Bit Sassy, 125 W. Second Street
New Life Thrift, 1920 W. Fourth St.
Nick T. Arnold, 3630 Frederica St
Out Of The Blue, 401 W. Second St.
Owensboro Family Pharmacy, 720 W. Byers Ave.
Ozone Laser Tag, 533 Triplett St.
Party Paper Place, 320 Washington Ave.
Peacocks and Pearls, 4431 Springhill Drive
PizzAroma, 611 Emory Drive
Preservation Station, 9661 Kentucky 56
Red Wing Shoes, 2928 Heartland Crossing Blvd.
Rex Robinson’s Visual Art Center, 425 W. Fifth St.
Robin’s Resale & Boutique, 2416 New Hartford Road
Say It Southern, 5000 Frederica St.
Serene Relief Massage, 509 E 18th St.
Shoe Stop, 4650 Frederica St.
Simply Chic Home Accents, 101 W. Third St.
Sip Owensboro, 3830 Kentucky 54
Starbucks, 2402 Frederica St.*
Studio 105 Art & Frame, 105 W. Third St.
Studio Slant, 624 Emory Drive
The Bakers Rack, 2690 Frederica St., Wesleyan Park Plaza
The Earle, 2660 Frederica St., Wesleyan Park Plaza
The Red Door Boutique, 105 E. 18th st.
The Sturdy Hinge, 121 E. Second St.
The Willow Tree, 3121 Commonwealth Court
Tom Blue Furniture, 2737 Veach Road
Trison’s Gifts, 507 Frederica St.
Welborn’s Floral, 920 E. Fourth St.
Wheatgrass Juice Bar, 3500 Villa Point
By Keith Lawrence Messenger-Inquirer
*Location address edited by Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce staff