Residents ‘stroll’ into Small Business Saturday

Published: Nov. 26, 2022 at 10:24 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - It’s not just activities guests could enjoy at the 10th annual Stroll on State Festival. They also had the opportunity to support small businesses.

Some local shops have been on State St. in Rockford for more than a decade while others have been there for just two days. In either case, hundreds of residents took the time to shop 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 a normal month or certainly one of their better weeks in any given year,” says Stroll on State Organizer John Groh.

Amid the sea of people celebrating Stroll on State are several locally-owned shops open for Small Business Saturday. One of those is Bath and Body Fusion.

“Supporting small businesses is the best thing you can do this holiday,” says Rockford Store Manager Shelby Starr. “It’s a great way to promote our business and have people just happen to be on the street and stroll on into our store.”

A steady flow of customers early Saturday afternoon at Bath and Body Fusion turned into dozens of people shortly after the parade.

“These small business owners they are they live in our community, they give back to our community, they are our community,” says shopper Lindsay Wilson.

Another local shop that felt the impact of Saturday’s festival is Wired Cafe. They usually aren’t open on weekends but made an exception for Stroll on State.

“It’s good to see people that we don’t normally see since we’re closed on Saturdays now. It’s just a good way to kick off the holiday season,” says Owner Crystal Douglas.

Small business owners say it’s important to shop locally beyond Small Business Saturday.

“This is our passion, but we still do need to make a living,” says Douglas.

John Groh says it’s meaningful to hear that stroll is such an important boost for local business owners. He encourages people to find new places to shop or dine in the future.

Capri Pizza also had a stand set up outside their restaurant to support the establishment after a fire caused thousands of dollars in damages.

TNT Funnel Cakes experienced their first Small Business Saturday on their second day in business.