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Small Business Saturday goes virtual

Ironton businesses will go online via Facebook this Saturday

Every year, Ironton aLive sponsors Small Business Saturday as a way to encourage shoppers to visit and support locally-owned businesses.

This weekend, because of the coronavirus pandemic, they are taking it to Facebook and making it Small Business Saturday–Virtual Edition.

Small Business Saturday is usually in the fall on the last Saturday after Thanksgiving, but Ginger Gillenwater, the co-chair of Ironton aLive, said there were several communities around the U.S. that are doing similar things to help out their local businesses move their inventory while everyone is doing social distancing and ran it by the board to run one in May, too.

“Even when retail businesses can re-open on May 12, we know a lot of people are still going to be social distancing and may not want to really go out in the public,” she said. “So, especially with Mother’s Day coming up, this gives people a chance to shop online before that with our Ironton businesses.”

So Ironton aLive coordinated it so the businesses would do it on the same day via the Ironton aLive Facebook page with Allyn’s Jewelers, Unger’s Shoe Store, Treasures From The Valley, The Vault Market, Merle Norman, Fetty’s Outlet and Boutique, Granny’s Novelties, Niemer Design Company and Goblin Traders all involved.

There will also be representatives from Avon, Papparazi, Color Street and Farmasi doing live feeds and their links will be put up as well.

“We will be live on the Facebook page all day, from 10 a.m.–9 p.m., sharing photos, links, live feeds and anything the participating businesses want to put up there to try and move their inventory,” said Gillenwater.

Each of the brick and mortar stores will be given a certain amount of Ironton Bucks to give away.

“How that works is they will take the names of the people who make purchases on Saturday and put them in a drawing and somebody will win Ironton Bucks,” she said. There are total of $600 in Ironton Bucks up for grabs and they are accepted at many Ironton businesses.
Gillenwater said that if the virtual edition of Small Business Saturday goes well for all involved, they might do another one.

“Since we really don’t know how things are going for the rest of the year, if it’s like this in the fall, we may do another one,” she said. “Even with Ironton aLive, we don’t even know with our events, so that has put a mystery of what we are going to do and how we are going to do it. But this is a start, I think.”