Shopping small business before Black Friday in Mid-Michigan

Published: Nov. 19, 2023 at 9:28 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - As the holiday season approaches, shoppers look for the best deals, heading out to larger retailers. But it’s the small businesses like Grave Danger in Old Town that offer more than deals, but nostalgia.

“When you walk into the store, we want you to feel like you’re walking into your childhood. We have toys and collectibles from the ‘70s until current,” said co-owner Brian Jupin.

Grave Danger already offers great prices but is working on getting a few rare finds before Black Friday. In its two years of business, Jupin says customers love the small shop but the holidays amp up support.

“It’s been really good, tons of new customers every day and people just love coming in and just remembering their childhood and good memories from it.”

Just around the corner is Bradly’s, a boutique department store offering items as unique as Grave Danger

“We have very unique items, so we try to find things no one else has locally,” said owner Bradly Rakowski.

What you find in Bradly’s, unlike big box retailers Rakowski says, is a place that’s welcoming and ready to service customers.

“People come in here because they feel like they’re special when they walk in the door with customer service. People come in to see the holiday displays, people come to get inspired.”

“I know it’s a temptation to go online and get stuff cheaper and faster, but you don’t find the same quality and don’t have the same connection to the local businesses,” said Tom Loniewski who was shopping for Christmas décor with his wife Cindy.

That connection creates a lasting relationship so small businesses remain in the community.

“If you don’t shop us, we go away, we can’t survive without a customer base supporting us,” said Rakowski.

“This is our livelihood and it’s really important for people to come in and support that,” said Jupin.

In November 2022, Governor Gretchen Whitmer declared the Saturday following Black Friday, Small Business Saturday. It urges Michiganders to get out and shop small not only then, but year-round. Small Business Saturday has been celebrated nationally since 2010. According to Governor Whitmer’s office -- for every $100 spent at a local business roughly $68 stays in the local economy. This supports the growth of small businesses and jobs within the state.

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