DEARBORN, Mich. – Retro Image Antiques Vintage and Props has been on the corner of Michigan and Williamson in downtown Dearborn since 1981.
“Today, I’ve had three new customers who’ve never been here because of small biz Saturday,” said the store’s owner, Jay Cruz.
Cruz said shoppers are often surprised by what they find when they take the time to look around.
“Walk around your neighborhood, get out of your car, look in the windows, you may discover something you didn’t know was around the corner from your home,” Cruz said.
A quick walk through any downtown area and you’ll see signs like this urging people to spend their money locally.
“More percent of that purchase goes back into the community because as business owners we spend our profits in this area as opposed to out of state or country, to the owner who doesn’t re-invest in your own community,” said Katie Merritt of Green Brain Comics.
Green Brain Comics in Dearborn has been thriving for more than thirty years.
“I like the curated stuff here,” said Paige Korner, a shopper. “I wouldn’t have found this book online if I hadn’t come in here and seen it.”
Korner said while online shopping is convenient, spending money at small businesses has a ripple effect on the entire community.
“It’s so sad when local shops are boarded up and it makes me happy when I can dip into passion projects and support them,” she said.
Cruz said those who shop locally aren’t only customers.
“They’re part of business,” he said. “We wouldn’t be here without them.”
American Express launched Small Business Saturday in 2010.
A decade later, COVID hit mom and pop stores especially hard.
Owners says its more important then ever to support local businesses.
“Don’t wait until it’s too late and then miss your favorite watering hole, place to shop,” Merritt said.