Shop Small Saturday sees traction amid pandemic

Tune Town and Long Dog Apparel were small businesses that participated in Shop Small in Mankato and North Mankato.

Shop Small Saturday sees traction amid pandemic

(KEYC) - Now more than ever, local business owners say it is crucial to shop small.

This past week, local residents came to do just that through the Shop Small in Mankato and North Mankato initiative.

“Shopping small and shopping local means that you have to spend more money and that is not always the case. So many small businesses have gifts that are at that ten dollar, twenty dollar price point and even those small purchases make a huge impact for those business owners,” owner of Long Dog Apparel, Tanya Brossard said.

This year, over 60 businesses, including Long Dog Apparel and Tune Town, participated in the event.

Tune Town is a record store in Old Town Mankato and has been in business since 1993.

They sell everything from vinyl, CDs, record players to t-shirts.

Long Dog Apparel is a complete 180 from Tune Town.

They sell Minnesota-based décor and clothes, but their main focus is all around dogs and Weiner dogs especially.

“A lot of people that own small businesses are part of the community so a lot of the money that is generated in small businesses stay in the community, stay in the town of Mankato,” owner of Tune Town, Carl Nordmeier said.

Greater Mankato Growth puts on the shop small initiative every year.

To make the program more interactive, Greater Mankato Growth developed a passport that is available to buy and whenever you make a purchase at a participating small business you receive a stamp.

There are eight regions in the passport that include small businesses in the Greater Mankato Area.

Greater Mankato Growth has had to make some adjustments to the passport portion in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Include an online option, again if people are wanting to shop safely and feel like they want to stay home and shop from home. That passport is still available to them online,” president of Visit Mankato at Greater Mankato Growth, Anna Thill said.

The pandemic has hit small businesses especially hard over the last couple of months and a lot of them are just happy to keep opening their doors.

“This is a year, that we don’t have a lot of expectations at this point. Whatever customer comes in, we are going to be happy to see your face and we are just thankful for your business,” Brossard said.

Keeping the money flowing in the community through Shop Small Saturday and even just shopping small in general means more to the business owners than a lot of people think.

“It’s a fuzzy warm feeling, I love it you know. It’s great to see someone support a small business versus a big box store,” Nordmeier said.

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