It often goes without saying that small businesses are the backbone of community and, in Hope, that certainly holds true. Now that the Thanksgiving leftovers are put away and the napping is done, Small Business Saturday awaits this weekend with awesome deals all throughout Hope’s business district downtown on the Town Square.

Established by American Express in 2010 and sponsored by the Small Business Association, Small Business Saturday has become one of the busiest shopping days for independent business owners. Last year alone, projected spending among shoppers was an estimated $23.3 billion according to the 2021 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey commissioned by American Express. (census.gov)

As area businesses prepare for the start of the shopping season, Executive Director of Main Street of Hope Matt Lee says he is hopeful more shoppers will come and check out Hope this weekend.

“Being in Hope, as far as small-town business, all the shops and storefronts are within walking distance of each other,” he says.

Before shops open Saturday, the folks at Cornett’s Corner Café will open their doors for hungry shoppers at 7 a.m. Known for their breakfast specials, this weekend will be no different with their delicious breakfast hashbrown casserole on the menu, which is always popular.

Whether shoppers are wanting a full breakfast or a quick bite, Cornett’s Corner Café, located at 525 Main St., will remain open Saturday for their regular business hours closing at 2 p.m.

Across the Square, Leroy Amstutz and his staff at the Swiss Maid, located at 310 Jackson St., are opening their doors at 10 a.m. with a huge variety of deals all day long.

“From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. we will have roast beef on sale for $5.69 per pound,” Amstutz says. “And then from 2 to 6 p.m., we will have our mini-marble cheese on sale for $2.99 per pound. Those are two hot items and we are doing them at extremely low markups.”

In addition, the Swiss Maid will also have brown eggs on sale for $3.79 per dozen all day and don’t forget the homemade noodles, which will go for 10 bags for $20, Amstutz adds.

“We do have a couple of other specials that day,” Amstutz says. “Poly furniture is going to be 15 percent off and we are also running a gift card sale so you can get a $115 gift card for $99.99. And when you spend $55 you get a free homemade hand towel.”

Just down the way from the Swiss Maid, WILLow LeaVes of Hope, located at 326 Jackson St., will be open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with discounts galore, says co-owner Vickie Tedder.

Among their specials that day will be 10 percent off ornaments, 20 percent off florals and wreaths and free coffee samples all day.

Joining Hope’s downtown business district this season is the Dandelion Boutique, located at 601 Harrison Street, owned by JaVonda Cave.

“I started out in 2019 with a booth in WILLow LeaVes of Hope,” Cave says. “I just wanted to expand, so I opened my own boutique.”

Cave specializes in unique ladies’ clothing and accessories for every occasion from lounging around the house to sleek dinner party style. And there are many styles, including sweaters and cropped shirts, that have become quite popular with the late teen and college-age crowds, Cave adds.

“I carry sizes small up to 3X,” Cave says. “I have it all, I have fun wear, casual and everyday wear, and business wear. I have a few dresses that can be dressed up for holiday parties.”

The Dandelion Boutique will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and offer deep discounts and percentages off of select items throughout the store.

“I am hoping the word will get out that I am here and will be on their regular shopping agenda,” she says.

Jackie Tallent, co-owner of the Gold Nugget Pawn Shop, located at 344 Jackson St., says she and her staff have a lot of uniquely fun things for shoppers who stop by from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.

“I love small business Saturday because it lets us appreciate our customers who appreciate a small business,” Tallent says. “I feel blessed and thankful for customers who make a point to support small business all through the year. And year after year, they shop with us to get that special gift. It is really interesting to be a part of a memory, I love that.”

Beginning Saturday, the pawn shop will offer several sales on just about everything in the store, Tallent says.

“We are working on a couple of estates where we have some very interesting jewelry and a lot of collector guns right now,” Tallent says. “So that is going to be the big thing. If someone is looking for something unusual, we will have it.”

Looking ahead to the remaining holiday season, Tallent adds the store will have special hours next weekend, as well.

“The next weekend is Christmas Around the Square and we will be open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and will have cookies and cocoa that night on Friday, December 2 and December 3 will be our customer appreciation party and we will be open extended hours for that, too.”