The Beauty of small businesses

Small Business Saturday shows importance of local businesses


Grace Holler

photo by Grace Holler / Photo Editor

Jeffrey Wardon, Jr., Biz & Tech Editor

The holiday season is about to kick into high gear, and local businesses are getting ready for Small Business Saturday on Nov. 24.

Small Business Saturday is a shopping holiday that urges people to support smaller, locally-run businesses as opposed to big box stores and online storefronts.

“The beauty of small businesses is that they are a community and a part of the community,” Casual Joe’s and Black Sheep owner Tyler Salisbery said. “They take the opportunity to be involved and engaged in the community.”

Many of these small businesses can have an impact on the community.

The Thrift Shoppe, operated out of the First English Lutheran Church on Church Street, was opened in 1966 by five women of the church’s community. The Thrift Shoppe, now operated by a staff of volunteers, sells used home goods.

The business also gives back to the community.

“Back when the Tratt Street fire happened, we gave $150 to each of the families affected by the fires,” Thrift Shoppe manager Sheryl Fritesen said. “We gave them that money to come into the store and buy any necessities.”

The Tratt Street fire was a four- alarm apartment complex fire at the Garden Apartments in November 2016.

A specialty gaming store in Whitewater called Level Up Games has been open since 2008. The store sells a wide selection of video games spanning from the Atari 2600 to the Xbox One.

“I always wanted to do something with video games,” Level Up Games manager Allan Paquette said. “So, I decided to take a semester off to start the business, but I ended up taking on the shop full-time.”

Allan said many University of Wisconsin-Whitewater students make up Level Up Games’ clientele. The store will host an event of its own on Small Business Saturday.

Many small businesses in Whitewater will take part in the event such as Dale’s Bootery, Cozumel Mexican Restaurant and Universal Electronics.  Casual Joe’s and The Black Sheep will be selling cooking classes through The Black Sheep’s website.

For more details on Small Business Saturday, visit