Wyoming communities are encouraging holiday shoppers to forego Black Friday and visit their local downtowns on Small Business Saturday instead. American Express initiated Small Business Saturday seven years ago to promote shopping locally during the holiday season rather than buying gifts online. Wyoming Business Council member Tom Dixon said small businesses are part of what makes Wyoming special.
“Wyoming’s a very entrepreneurial state, has always had that independent, western tough sort of attitude, and it carries on even today. We’ve got a ton of companies that are just really small, sometimes literally mom and pop running the store front,” said Dixon.
The number of local businesses involved in Small Business Saturday across the state has doubled in three years from 35 businesses in 2014 to more than 70 businesses this year. Dixon said that by building that momentum, people have become even more committed to supporting their local economies.
“We have approaching 34,000 businesses here in Wyoming, and 90 percent of them employ fewer than 20 people. Something like 60 percent of them employs fewer than 5 people. So when you’re supporting these local businesses, you’re helping your neighbor.”
Businesses across Cheyenne, Gillette, Rock Springs and other cities will be helping to spread the word about Small Business Saturday through sales, prize drawings, fireworks, carriage rides and other promotions.