ROCKFORD, IL (WIFR) – Guests can enjoy more than just the action at the 10th annual Stroll on State Festival. They also have the opportunity to support small businesses.
Some local stores have been on State St. in Rockford for over a decade, while others have only been there for two days. In either case, hundreds of residents spend time shopping locally.
“We hear that Stroll on State is always a great sales day. Some people call it their 13th month: sometimes they do as much business in one day as they would in a normal month, or certainly any given year.” One of the best weeks,” Stroll said on national organizer John Groh.
Among the crowd celebrating Stroll on State were several local stores that opened for small businesses on Saturday. One of them is Bath and Body Fusion.
“Supporting small businesses is the best thing you can do this holiday season,” said Rockford store manager Shelby Starr. “It’s a great way to promote our business and get people who happen to be strolling down the street into our stores.”
Bath and Body Fusion was filled with customers early Saturday afternoon, which turned into dozens shortly after the parade ended.
“These small business owners, they live in our community, they give back to our community, they are our community,” shopper Lindsay Wilson said.
Another local store feeling the effects of the Saturday festival is Wired Cafe. They’re usually closed on weekends, with the exception of Stroll on State.
“It’s nice to meet people we don’t normally see because we’re closed on Saturdays. It’s a great way to start the holidays,” says owner Crystal Douglas.
Small business owners said that in addition to Small Business Saturday, it’s important to shop locally.
“It’s our passion, but we still have to make a living,” Douglas said.
John Groh said it made sense to hear that walks were a big boost for local business owners. He encouraged people to look for new places to shop or dine in the future.
Capri Pizza also set up a booth outside their restaurant to support the establishment after the fire caused thousands of dollars in damage.
TNT Funnel Cakes experienced their first Small Business Saturday on their second day in business.
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