By JONATHAN BISSONNETTE
CENTRAL FALLS — After the frenetic and frenzied rush of Black Friday, in which throngs of shoppers lined up overnight and into the wee hours of the morning to pack big-box stores and chain retailers, patrons on Saturday were encouraged to support local small businesses as part of Small Business Saturday.
Lt. Gov. Daniel J. McKee said that “nothing’s more important than a customer buying things from a small business. That’s what businesses need.”
“Small businesses need customers, so as you bring awareness to the small businesses in the neighborhoods, people — if they know there’s an opportunity and they take advantage of the opportunity — can strengthen their communities by working with local businesses and small businesses,” McKee said from inside Palacio de la Musica at 657 Dexter St. in Central Falls.
The shop, which sells a variety of wares including movies, music, apparel, and footwear, was one of many stops on Saturday morning for McKee and other city and state officials, who toured numerous locally-owned businesses on Broad and Dexter streets.
Along with McKee on the tour of the city’s businesses were Mayor James A. Diossa, Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea, Pawtucket At-Large City Councilor Sandra Cano, and representatives from the Blackstone Valley Merchants Association.
"Central Falls has got a number of small businesses located on the main streets," McKee said. "Just making people aware of that there's businesses out here and there's a good reason to be buying local in the state of in a community like Central Falls helps a small business quite a bit."
"People are more focused on the fact that there's businesses in their community and that if you support those businesses, that strengthens the economy in your community," he said. "The better the small businesses do ... the stronger the economy, the more money that stays in the local community, and that way we keep on making communities stronger."
Among the destinations as part of the tour of local businesses Saturday morning were Tony's Shoe Service at 781 Broad St., Mejia's Appliance at 751 Broad St., and Budare Grille at 716 Dexter St.
Abraham Hernandez, owner of Tony's Shoe Service, told the assembled officials in side his shop that he has loved the 16 years he has spent in the Broad Street building, serving as a cobbler for the community. McKee said that Hernadez made at least one new customer Saturday, as he intends on getting his father's golf bag repaired at Hernandez's shop.
Diossa spoke of the importance of Small Business Saturday, when he said, "every dollar that you spend in your community has a greater impact than dollar spent outside."
'It's a collaborative effort of showcasing not only what we have in Central Falls but understanding that as mayor, I spend my dollars in Central Falls because I know that ultimately all of that money goes back into the community," he said. If people don't se their mayor out there buying and spending inside the community, it's tough for people to go on their own."
Diossa also said that of r every dollar spent at a local establishment, the local tax goes back into the community.
"And it allows us to fund infrastructure projects, fund important elements that are important for the quality of life, and most importantly ... if a business is doing greater, they going to be abele to employ more people from Central Falls, which in turn is a huge benefit for Central Falls," the mayor said.
Gloria L. Rubio, president of the Blackstone Valley Merchants Association, said that Small Business Saturday is great because it "will help our economy and we have more people who visit our businesses and promote our businesses."
"Small businesses are like the wheel that moves our economy and our mission is to promote the small businesses and I'm very happy that we're doing this because that will help," Rubio said.
For the complete article, see the 11/30 print edition of The Times.