By NICK GOSNELL
HUTCHINSON, Kan. — Small Business Saturday is an opportunity to highlight local merchants in the area, but Marc Buckley from Toy Depot and Kevin Rule from Sleep Shoppe and Furniture Gallery both believe in shopping local, no matter the time of year.
"I have a firm belief that if you shop local, shop local first, you're investing in your community," said Rule. "Small investments turn into big things over time. There's just some things that we're not going to be able to find here. Those, you can go online or you can go out of town to find those, but, if Hutch has it, get out there and meet the people and get to know the people up and down the street. It doesn't matter if it's toys, if it's furniture, if it's cookies, if it's candles. Everything in downtown, everything along 17th and 30th Street that is local, just support those people."
Rule notes that if you don't have a guy for something specific, look to local to find it, it's probably there.
"There is such talent in this community," Rule said. "We've been here three and a half, almost four years now, this is our fourth Christmas in downtown Hutch. We love this community. We fell in love with it before we ever moved here. It's a Hallmark community. It's all lit up downtown. The streetscapes look wonderful. The city invests in downtown. It's just a picture perfect walk through the park."
Buckley also talked about a conversation he had with Mayor Steve Garza when he spent some time downtown.
"He walked Main Street and met the owners," Buckley said. "He goes, what nice people. He was surprised and he shouldn't be. He goes, everywhere I went, people were friendly. If you haven't shopped local for awhile, you'd be surprised the difference between a local store and a chain, because the local guy is there, probably barely making money, but having a fun time doing it."
Small Business Saturday was established by American Express in 2010 and co-sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration since 2011.