HILL CITY, S.D. – For business owners in small communities like Hill City, community support means small businesses help each other out to drive sales and lend a hand through winter.
Lorena Freis, vice president and co-owner of Farmers Daughter said, “Small businesses make up Hill City. Right? There are no large corporations, every business is a small business – and so we support each other very regularly. ”
That support can be something as simple as recommending neighboring shops to their customers, or using events to cross promote each other. For example, Freis is holding a drawing for her customers for Small Business Saturday and offering an extra entry to customers who can show a receipt from another local shop. It can also look like group events, like the Kris Kringle Vendor Fair, where vendors come from all over the Black Hills to sell their crafts and promote shopping locally.
Deborah Vick, owner of Kid Creations attended the fair and said, “The money stays in the community and it doesn’t help the bigwigs everywhere else with their yachts and their million dollar mansions and stuff like that.”
We talked with Hill City resident Cheryl Whetham, who attended the Kris Kringle fair and she told us why shopping locally is important to her.
Whetham said, “We’re supported by tourists in the summer but our people here need money and support in the winter, so I think it’s important – and you can always find something a little more unique than you can at the big box stores.”
Community support was a major reason given for shopping locally. Money that goes towards small business can often find its way back into a local economy. In the case of organizations like the Angel Fund, money from local business owners and shoppers provides direct support to help the community’s children.
Roxann DuBois with the Angel Fund said, “We have families who work really hard sometimes during the summer and when it comes to these winter months it’s a choice between propane and groceries or paying for their kids lunch. So, here’s an opportunity for our community to come together, donate to this cause – and we’re able to make sure that all of our students here eat using the angel fund.”
Most Hill City businesses will open from 10 a.m. to around 6 p.m. during Small Business Saturday on Nov. 24. The Kris Kringle Vendor Fair will re-open Saturday morning from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.