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Small return for Barstow on Small Business Saturday


BARSTOW • The national campaign coined Small Business Saturday proved slow on the turn around for local business owners who saw steady to regular commerce that day.

“It was normal, slow,” Alejandro Perez, manager at Sancho’s Tacos & Cantina said. “It hasn’t picked up yet because people still don’t know about us.”

A corresponding shopping day for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday is dedicated to promoting small businesses and the communities they exist in, according to the American Express website. The company conceived the holiday in 2010 and it’s still gaining public awareness in Barstow.

“Our challenge is to get people to rediscover locally what is here,” Joseph Hisquierdo, a spokesman for the Barstow City Chamber of Commerce said. “We’re trying to introduce local businesses to embrace technology and social networking.”

The Chamber compiled a marketing kit and select businesses in the area chose to officially participate in the day, Hisquierdo said. Some local businesses who are using social media sites such as Yelp are seeing more business from travelers according to Hisquierdo.

“Lola’s Mexican Restaurant gets a lot of great reviews on Yelp from passersby and Rosita’s is also using social media,” he said.

While several managers and employees around the Barstow Mall said they saw steady business Saturday, one volunteer employee at the Support our Troops Thrift Store, Jan Kemp, said business was chaotic. The nonprofit thrift store is currently holding a half-off sale and many local families shop in the store, she said.

“It was mad crazy Saturday. We had people lined up all day,” Kemp said.

Patricia Parker, a volunteer employee at Mike’s DVD Kiosk in the mall said many don’t know that the mall is open and she wished more consumers would shop in town.

“Everybody goes to Victorville to shop and we’re trying to get people to stay here in Barstow” she said.

U.M.A Karate School owner, Gilbert Martinez said he’s been in business at the Barstow Mall for nine years and has seen four new neighboring businesses come into the mall in the last few years.

“It could always be better. In this economy especially, everybody’s got hopes,” he said.

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Reader's comments

Debbie. here's a thought. IT is better to sell 1,000 $15 a month newspapers that 200 $30 a month newspaper. I jused to subscribe. now I don't. Now you know why.

geeze - Aug 05, 2009 03:45:11 PM Remove Comment

TRUE STORY -- The nickels and dimes generated by ads on the Web site you're reading now are insufficient to sustain a once-thriving news organization. More Web hits means fewer newspapers and lost jobs. Don't encourage the dismantling of print newspapers. Direct your browsers elsewhere. The Internet isn't killing newspapers. They're being devoured from within by bean counters and Web wonks.

Debbie Baggett - Aug 05, 2009 02:51:14 PM Remove Comment

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