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Art Festival vs. Small Business Saturday

Down in Delray Beach, FL, this past weekend it was "Small Business Saturday", as it was across the country. Yet it was also the weekend of the Downtown Delray Beach art festival. Good idea? Shop owners don't seem to think so, and then others do. The DDA likes it, shop owners not so sure.

"It kind of defeated the purpose of promoting our small business in town when they brought other small businesses to interfere with tax-paying stores and restaurants that have been here forever," says Megan Addison, from Periwinkle.

She believes crowds and closed streets from the festival kept Small business Saturday customers away.

Leaders from the Downtown Development Authority point out this festival has been coming to the area for the past 16 years. Small Business Saturday has only existed for five years.

What do you think?

Here's the rest of the story:

Views: 365

Comment by Roxanne Coffelt on December 2, 2015 at 3:32pm

I think that

  1. The artists are also small business owners
  2. The art show may bring more traffic to the existing stores and restaurants
  3. Artists pay taxes also
  4. Megan needs to get over it.
Comment by Robert Wallis on December 2, 2015 at 10:01pm

Megan seems a little touchy over some "competition" that takes place 2 days out of 365 every year. She's a clothing store operator and probably has 2 to 4 fabric artists on the street to worry her. If that's concerning her, she needs to be more concerned about her clientele base for the other 363 days of the year. Looking at it from a retail standpoint she has maybe 4 temporary competitors who carry a limited inventory of a niche offering. It's like Ruth's Chris Steakhouse getting worried about an Applebee's opening up down the street.

Comment by Christina L. Towell on December 6, 2015 at 9:22am

Well, this does pose an interesting question and I guess I can see both sides of the issue, hope they can get it sorted out with a plan that will work for everyone.  Generally speaking doesn't competition help your business?  It brings a greater number of potential customers to the area, inspires you to up your game and it keeps you on the cutting edge of what's happening now.

Comment by Colin Murray on December 7, 2015 at 7:06pm

I have heard retailers who hate/complain about art shows and retailers who love art shows being outside their doors. I think it depends on how the retailer deals with the opportunity. If they sit in there stores and stare out the windows at the crowd, yes they will have lower sales. If they give shoppers a reason to come in their store, sales will soar. Small Business Saturday is a great reason to get customers into your shop. Whether is it a retail store or an art booth. We can work together and make it a win-win for everyone. 

Comment by Connie Mettler on December 9, 2015 at 9:58am

Right, Tina! "competition inspires you to up your game"!! Keep doing the same old, same old and watch your business dwindle away. Life is not static, nor is retail. 

I agree, Colin. I've seen stores close up during events. Sometimes for very good reasons, but if you've ever been to the Ann Arbor Art Fairs you can see some pretty determined retail operations making hay.


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