Downtown looks to attract holiday shoppers

Hannah Grover
Assistant manager Reuben Morales grabs a pair of shoes for a customer to try on Saturday during the Holiday Art Walk and Small Business Saturday celefbration at Brown's Shoe Fit Co. in Farmington.

FARMINGTON — Several small businesses owners in the downtown district reported mixed results on Small Business Saturday.

Small Business Saturday began in 2010 as a way of promoting holiday shopping at small businesses throughout the country. It serves as a counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and many small businesses offer special deals.

"We just kind of extended our Black Friday pricing," said Bryan Sledge, the owner of BedRooms Plus.

There are more than 154,000 small businesses in New Mexico, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. Those businesses employ nearly 329,000 people.

Dan Sheesley, the owner of Brown's Shoe Fit Co., wore a "shop small" button on his shirt and kept his business open later on Small Business Saturday in conjunction with the Holiday Art Walk.

Mary Beach, of Farmington, looks at hand-made jewelry on Saturday during the Holiday Art walk and Small Business Saturday celebration at Studio 116  in Farmington.

"We are both big proponents of supporting local business," he said as he and Liz Hubbard, the co-owner of Paradise Village, talked while she shopped for shoes.

Paradise Village is located near the intersection of Main Street and Scott Avenue. Hubbard said she saw a lot of business on Black Friday but not as much on Small Business Saturday.

Sheesley reported the opposite.

"We were down big time yesterday," he said. "But we were equal at 5 o'clock (Saturday) as last year."

Across the street, Daniel Diswood, the owner of SnS Skate Shop, also saw an uptick in business on Saturday, although he didn't see the sales that he has seen in previous years.

"We still aren't doing the numbers we've seen in the past," he said as he strummed a guitar outside his business during the art walk.

Kelly Tinsley, of Farmington, looks through jewelry Saturday during the Holiday Art Walk and Small Business Saturdaycelebration at Studio 116 in Farmington.

Sledge also noted a decrease in traffic, though he said the furniture store saw an increase in profit this year.

Alma Hernandez, a manager at Sahemi Shoes & More, said Small Business Saturday provided an increase in business for her.

The business opened a little more than a month ago, and right before it closed for the day at 5 p.m., a customer ran inside to buy tights.

Charles Stacey plays the guitar and sings on Saturday during the Holiday Art Walk and Small Business Saturday celebration at the Identity Inc. Community Center in downtown Farmington.

Lupe Rojas, the co-owner, said the bad economy has hurt the new business.

"People don't have money to spend," she said.

Hannah Grover covers Aztec and Bloomfield, as well as general news, for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.