As big-box stores count their cash after another Black Friday, small business owners offered deep discounts for Small Business Saturday.
Nestled behind downtown Savannah’s busy streets is Cool Savannah Tours and Gifts. The store’s name is self-explanatory. Like always, it’s busy on Small Business Saturday.
The store’s newest owner — Jeffrey Mitchell — says he increased sales by 200 percent.
“I realized day one that running the business is me. This is where I fit in,” said Mitchell.
He figured that out after leaving the Army.
“It’s really nerve-racking and scary because you go from a sense of security to now it’s all on me,” he said. “[The Army] looked after me for a certain period of time. They guided me through life. Now it’s my turn to look after other people and to guide them through life.”
With the help of William Reyes — from Transworld Business Advisors of Savannah — Mitchell traded his title as Sergeant for boss.
“There’s such a tight-knit community of all the small businesses. And not just small businesses in Savannah. We all communicate. We all get together. We get to know each other by name,” said Georgia Walters, the store’s general manager.
A local photographer, Walters is also a sponsor of Savannah’s Small Business Saturday.
“You also have to remember that by not shopping locally, that is affecting your community — not just ours,” said Walters.
The Savannah Area Chamber says 68 percent of every dollar spent at a local business stays in the community.
It’s just one more reason the veteran-photographer duo wants you to shop small, not only on Small Business Saturday.