The city partnered with the Escondido Chamber of Commerce and the DBA as a member of the American Express Neighborhood Champion Program for Small Business Saturday.
The DBA, which is made up of local business owners, created an opportunity for residents to potentially get rewarded for shopping at small businesses.
Participants received passports and were encouraged to fill them with stamps from each small business that they visited and made a purchase from. The passports were then entered into a drawing where winners received prizes that were donated from local small businesses.
The committee also created an online holiday gift guide highlighting one or two items from each small business that people buy as a gift either online or in-store.
Mei Bautista, 26, opened her shop, Daydream, in downtown Escondido just five months ago. She told The Coast News that she experienced the best sales day she’s had since she’s been open.
“I didn’t have high expectations because I didn’t know if people were even going to come out and shop this year, but we ended up being busy on both Black Friday and Small Business Saturday,” Bautista said.
She added that she also got a lot of brand new customers on Saturday, a promising sign for any business.
“This business community is so special, everyone just seems to care about giving to and supporting each other, and that makes me really proud to be a business owner here,” Bautista said. “To know that there are business owners who’ve been here for a long time who really care about supporting the new businesses and each other just makes me really happy.”
Carol Rogers, owner of Stone and Glass in Escondido, also participated in Small Business Saturday and was surprised that this year produced roughly the same numbers as last year, despite the realities of COVID-19.
“Small Business Saturday is a great reminder to people that, during the holiday season, you don’t necessarily want to support the big guys, especially this year when the big guys are the ones that are making it through COVID fairly well, while we’re seeing a huge number of small businesses that are now gone and may never come back,” Rogers said. “I think we’re seeing a trend where people are shopping small because they want to see small businesses succeed.”