Local small businesses are hard to beat for community shoppers

Kali Katerberg/Daily Mining Gazette Downtown Hancock is populated by many small businesses who rely on community support to stay open.

HANCOCK — Following another year’s Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, locally-run businesses hope for continued support.

Hancock businesses were open on Black Friday for the annual Hancock Christmas Walk and again for Small Business Saturday. The morning turnout was slow, but business owners were hoping to see an uptick later in the afternoon.

“Usually people don’t start coming around till 11 to 12 o’clock,” said Catherine Hiltunen, owner of Magic Kiln Studio. Hiltunen has been selling customizable pottery for just about five years.

“I think small businesses get left out sometimes in the Christmas season. People are ordering online and going to the bigger stores because they think there is more selection,” Hiltunen said.

However, she thinks small businesses have more to offer.

“Here you can personalize everything, and I think it’s not as expensive as people think if they haven’t been in,” she said. “I try to keep my prices reasonable so the community can take advantage of it.”

She has seen lots of community support in her years of operation and many loyal customers.

“Keep it in mind for Christmas to paint your own pottery. It’s really nice for the person who has everything. They don’t have something personal painted by you… It’s unique, and it’s great to capture, especially if you have small children, trying to capture their artistic style,” Hiltunen said.

By shopping at a small business residents of the community are supporting families they know and who care about the community, said Missy Goulette, owner of The Flowershop.

“Instead of supporting a corporation where you’re giving all your money to a CEO who has three houses in the Bahamas, help support a local person in the community who…likes to try and help the community,” said Goulette, who also been in business for five years.

Some business owners were feeling a little discouraged by the low turnout for both events. Although Alan McClellan, owner of Blast from the Past Antiques Collectables & Mercantile, did report a slight improvement in sales compared to previous years.

“They can keep going to Walmart, but pretty soon that’ll be all that’s left,” McClellan said.

“Continue to support small business,” Goulette said.

The merchants agreed when it comes to unique gifts, the locally-run businesses are hard to beat.