Small Business Saturday to be celebrated in Atchison

Walls of Books store front, located on 8th and Commercial. Photo by Rocky DeSantis.

By Rocky DeSantis, The Circuit.

In a small town such as Atchison, there are an abundance of small businesses. Some of the businesses have just recently popped up and some have been around for decades.

Small Business Saturday is a nationally recognized day that takes place on the first Saturday after Thanksgiving. It’s objective is to help promote small businesses the day after Black Friday, which is a day that is centered on sales for the holiday season.

The idea first came to life in 2010 because of the credit card mogul American Express. The holiday gained recognition the following year when President Barack Obama formally acknowledged it.

According to the Farm Bureau Financial Services, in 2015, 95 million people shopped at local businesses on Small Business Saturday.

Two local businesses that will be participating in Atchison are Van Dyke’s Grocery and Walls of Books.

Walls of Books, a local used books store, is celebrating its first anniversary since opening its doors.

Karly Casey, manager of Walls of Books, thought last year’s small business Saturday helped bring recognition to the new business and she is hopeful for this year’s event.

On Nov. 25, Atchison will also be holding the 2nd annual Christmas Stroll.

“We are combining Small Business Saturday with the Christmas Stroll,” Casey said.

“The Christmas Stroll gets people to come into your store to see what you have before the holiday season,” she said. “We get a lot of foot traffic and that is very helpful.”

“Since we are in such a small town, if [a business] tries to do things one off, you aren’t going to get much foot traffic,” Casey said.

Casey adds that having events such as the Christmas Stroll and Small Business Saturday on the same day maximizes potential sales.

Van Dyke’s Grocery has been an Atchison business for over 100 years. Being a small business in a growing town for that long makes small business Saturday an important day of the year for the store.

Kyle Van Dyke, the fourth generation owner, thinks Small Business Saturday brings awareness to local businesses.

“Bigger is not always better,” Van Dyke said. “We need to keep our money local instead of running to the big box stores.”

Van Dyke believes that the more money that stays in the local government, the better off the community will be.

Both Casey and Van Dyke believe that recognizing Small Business Saturday as a community, as well as combining it with the Christmas Stroll, will not only help small businesses in Atchison, but also the local economy.