Small Business Saturday: Local owners say small businesses are the heart of downtown Flint

Published: Nov. 24, 2018 at 10:27 PM EST
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(11/24/2018) - Black Friday is officially over. Therefore, many people spent their day shopping local to support Small Business Saturday, especially in downtown Flint.

"Small Business Saturday is so special because it's an opportunity to support local businesses in your community," Crystal Pepperdine said. She is the founder of Flint Handmade. It is a non-profit organization that encourages entrepreneurship in Flint. She said the wave of local businesses in downtown adds culture and reflects the diversity of the city.

"Small businesses are at the heart of the revitalization of downtown Flint we don't have any chains, it's all local owners and local businesses," she said.

Andrew Watchorn is the co-owner of Flint City T-shirts in downtown Flint. The business has been around for 13 years.

"I think a lot of people believe, you can't succeed downtown unless you are part of a big entity, and we're a small business and we've moved our business into place where it's in a really good position."

For many owners, Small Business Saturday is a way for them share their dreams while also putting money in their pockets.

"When you're buying from me you're helping pay for Christmas gifts and just helping keep my passion alive," Rebecca Kilburn said. She engraves glassware.

On Saturday, Kilburn had plenty of customers.

"It brings so many people in, and I think it's become almost like a trendy kind of thing to shop local."

Pepperdine said having successful small businesses is key because it represents the city.

"Thriving active downtown, you can move outwards and revitalize neighborhoods too, so the fact that we have so much action happening right now in downtown Flint more businesses open than ever on Small Business Saturday is a really great sign for the city as a whole."