LAKEWOOD, Ohio — There’s just a month left in 2021 and Ohio’s already broken the state record for new business filings in a single year.
Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced earlier this week that 181,586 new businesses have been created in 2021 so far, smashing the record of 171,073 set throughout all of 2020.
For the small businesses in that bunch, and others that have been open longer, this Saturday is an important day. It's Small Business Saturday.
At STEM Handmade Soap in Lakewood they’re fully stocked and ready for the holiday rush.
“We do a lot of gift giving, so hostess gifts or gifts for your loved ones, people can come in and we have a lot of pre-made gifts, so kind of that ‘grab and go,’” said owner Dave Willett.
Willett said business has been strong in 2021, and a busy Black Friday bodes well for the all important day after.
“Yeah, a Super Bowl for small businesses is a great way to put it. We feel really good. Of course, you can't be a small business owner without just kind of going into the holiday weekend with fingers crossed,” said Willett. “You never know ‘til it's completely over, but Black Friday for us, which is not near as big for a small business as Small Business Saturday is, has been really strong. It's been actually better than last year. So that gives us hope for tomorrow.”
He said folks in Lakewood, which is teeming with small businesses, never lets them down.
“We feel very, very fortunate and they come in and tell us that they're here to support us which is not something that you just notice from the sales but you feel like you're part of their community and they treat you as such,” said Willett.
It's a sentiment Suzanne Bednarchik, the owner of The Quilting Bee in Lakewood, can relate to.
“Being here in Lakewood, we're in a great community,” said Bednarchik.
The Quilting Bee is a shop dedicated to all things quilting from high-quality fabrics to long arm services.
Bednarchik said the holiday shopping season is already in full swing there.
“A lot of our people are well ahead of the curve as far as getting projects done. You know, quilts as gifts. We typically see them coming in earlier in the fall to get their supplies to get them done,” said Bednarchik.
She said support from their longtime customers keeps business going strong year-round, but she looks forward to Small Business Saturday because it opens them up to new faces who will hopefully become regulars.
“There's so many small businesses here in the community. I think people make it a day to come and visit and so we really do expand our customer base on Small Business Saturday,” said Bednarchik.
STEM Handmade Soap is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and The Quilting Bee is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Small Business Saturday.
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