Local Stores Look to Gain Community Support During Small Business Saturday

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MODESTO -- Retail stores often grab the headlines on Black Friday, but Saturday, small businesses were the stars.

Mchenry Village is a hub for small businesses and with Small Business Saturday bringing big crowds, owners are hoping they can raise awareness to continue to keep their doors open.

Nov. 25 has been marked on Kathie McBroom’s calendar. McBroom owns Ragamuffin in McHenry Village, years after she worked in the store.

"Now I’ve come back, and so a lot of people that were here buying for their kids, are buying for their grandkids and it’s fun seeing them grow up,"

That sentiment was echoed by Chandra Cunha, who co-owns Mulberry Lane with her mother.

"Over 18 years they’ve seen my family grow up, we’ve followed their family’s traditions, we’ve see our customers have grandkids and start new traditions," Cunha said. "It’s just a real sense of community."

The community aspect, coupled with old-time practices like gift wrap, are reasons small business owners like McBroom say they need to continue to receive support.

"You can definitely see a change in business," McBroom said. "People, especially the younger generation, they tend to come in here and look at things and then just go buy it online. You just don’t get the feel of the fabrics or you can’t see it up close and personal."

A personal touch, by those who work every day to supply it.

"It’s something we are passionate about, we love to do. It’s more than just unlock the door at 9 o'clock in the morning and close it up at 6 o’clock," Cunha said. "It’s the decorating and the follow through, and the ordering. It’s a whole year-long experience to prepare for not just this season but, you know, the four seasons that change."

Owners said something that is often overlooked is that money that is spent at a small business stays in the community, which is something that doesn’t happen when customers order online.