Loco for Local Small Business
KREX News Room
MESA COUNTY, Colo. This Saturday was the third annual small business Saturday. The day was created to support small business that invigorate the economy and keep communities thriving.
Every small business has a story. Tim Wedel, artist and owner of Wedel Pottery, said, "My business has been here, in the Palisade area, for 30 years."
"We're a family-owned and operated business that started in my grandparent's garage. I'm the third generation," said Ami Martin, a third generation employee of Western Slope Aquatics and Pets.
Fayeann Morosini, the owner of Sugar Shack, said, "We carry the old-fashioned candy, candy that you had whenever you were little. 'Ooh I remember that!' They take a walk down memory lane."
"Palisade and the Grand Valley is just a Mecca for people who've got good ideas and can launch their own private businesses," said Wedel.
With his hands, Wedel creates one-of-a kind pieces of art.
"A lot of people didn't know I was here, is usually the first reaction. Then the second reaction is generally the quality of the work here is pretty high. People are amazed that it's been kind of a hidden treasure in Palisade," he said.
At his shop, he's not the only one allowed to get his hands dirty.
"The kids are my favorite part of creativity, because they're uninhibited when they come in. Often, they'll be giving me an idea that I'll be able to use after they go."
At Western Slope Aquatics and Pets, employees say their customers are part of the family.
Martin said, "All of our small animals, our kittens our puppies, that all comes from local people. We don't deal with puppy mills, we don't deal with corporate breeders."
While all small businesses compete with big box stores, they took a hit from them in another way.
"We ended up having to move because they decided that they were going to put a dollar store in our unit over in Teller Arms. We'd were over there for 29 years. We've had a lot of customers that haven't been able to find us since," said Martin.
The future of these small businesses depends on local traffic.
"Small businesses are locally owned by people and it's keeping the money within the Grand Valley," Morosini said.
"Oh there's so much more personality in a handmade gift or a locally made gift," Wedel said.
They believe once you do go local you'll be hooked.