Local entrepreneurs set up shop last weekend at pop-ups around town encouraging Yellowknifers to come out for Small Business Saturday.
Copperhouse Eatery and Lounge, Mermaid and Moon, and Elke’s Table all held markets throughout the day hosting nearly a dozen local business owners without bricks and mortar of their own.
Mark Henry, co-owner of Copperhouse, estimates more than 200 shoppers came out to their event Saturday to shop for Copperhouse wine and merchandise along with offerings from Gillian Whitehead Hairstylist, Cabin Snacks, Amber Henry Writes and Charlotte Henry Designs.
He admits the event coinciding with Small Business Saturday is merely coincidental, but said he supports the concept.
Collaboration is “central and key to small-town business for sure,” he said, adding that partnerships are a way of “increasing our connection point with the community.”
With limited capacity in order to comply with public health measures, shoppers were lined up out the door to support Yellowknife small businesses. As a local business owner himself, Henry said, “We’re always very appreciative of community support.”
Likewise, REM’s Boutique and Cupcake Queens were stationed in the Mermaid and Moon basement from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday. As well as Yellowknife Cards, Rudimentary by Cheryl, and Wild Bead Creations in the heated tent outside Elke’s Table from 4 p.m.-8 p.m.
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) has been celebrating Small Business Saturday since 2012. Historically, the campaign has run at the end of Small Business Week in October. With Black Friday and Cyber Monday gaining popularity in Canada, however, CFIB senior policy analyst Muriel Protzer said the federation rescheduled the event “to emphasize the importance of supporting local during the busiest shopping season.”
“This sentiment is especially important this year,” she said. “This year has been incredibly challenging, and with revenues significantly down, (local businesses) need the help of Canadians to get through to 2021.”
Overlander Sports participated in the campaign by donating a portion of its Saturday proceeds to Camp Connections, the Foster Family Coalition-run summer camp. Four thousand dollars was raised for the program.
Jordan Crosby, Overlander Sports manager, said the store is committed to investing in Yellowknife’s community and youth especially.
Supporting local businesses is supporting the community, Crosby said.
He said aiding Yellowknife programs has always been important to owners Bill and Sandra Stirling.
The community supports the store, and the store gives back to the community.
“We just want it to come full circle,” Crosby said.