The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Latest News

December 2, 2013

Merchants: ‘shop small’ campaign a success

JOHNSTOWN — Black Friday, with its frigid, early morning lines and eye-catching doorbusters, is the same every year. The underlying themes are “save big, shop big.”

This year, more consumers than ever before chose to “shop small” on Saturday.

The newest post-Thanksgiving shopping hype holiday, Small Business Saturday, has begun to find legs of its own, according to a national survey, and local business owners are reaping the benefits.

“It was a whole different ball game this year  – it’s not normal for us to be that busy,” said Mid Mandichak, owner of Mid’s Homemade Candy in Ebensburg. “I think people are realizing that you want to keep (business) local. ... We support the local people and all my employees are local.”

Dan Danner, CEO of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, said it’s good to see consumers keeping their dollars local, as well.

“In an uncertain economy, America’s small businesses have remained a beacon – creating good  jobs and supporting the families they employ and the communities around them,” he said in a release. “We are very pleased that so many Americans sought to give back by shopping small this Small Business Saturday.”

According to a survey conducted by the federation and American Express, consumers dropped $5.7 billion at local stores the day after Black Friday. The survey also found awareness of the “shop small” movement rose to 71 percent, up from 67 percent in 2012.

In November alone, the release states, more than 352,000 tweets about Small Business Saturday – with hashtags like #SmallBizSat or #ShopSmall – circled the Twitterverse, 65 percent more than last year. The official Small Business Saturday Facebook page now boasts over 3.3 million “likes.”

“I think the movement has definitely been catching on,” said Jessica Martella, who opened her small business, Adorned Gift and Accessory Boutique along Franklin Street in Johnstown, on Labor Day weekend.

“Because we were so new, we really didn’t know what to expect and we were thrilled with the response.”

Mandichak called it “top-of-mind awareness” – with all those tweets, hashtags and Facebook posts, how could shoppers forget about their local businesses?

“I think there’s more publicity,” she said. “You gotta keep that in people’s faces.”

For Cathy Garlesky, who opened Garlesky’s Gift Gallery in Somerset a little over a

year ago, the added exposure and Black Friday-hype mentality brought new customers to her storefront on Saturday.

“We had several people stop in and say they had no idea we were even there,” she said. “It was a really good day for us.”

Amy Munoz, the co-owner of Country Son gift shop along Scalp Avenue in Richland Township, said she’s thankful for the social media push, as well as loyal customers who have kept her in business for close to 16 years.

“I think it does make the average consumer more aware of what a small business can offer: Customer service, convenient parking, more on-on-one with the owners,” she said. “You can’t get customer service like that in a large store.”

Justin Dennis is a multimedia reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
  • foust_25 Teen shot in Oakhurst

    A 16-year-old New Jersey boy was taken to Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center on Thursday after being shot three times in the Oakhurst section of Johnstown.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Audit: City overspent by $700G in 2013

    Legacy costs contributed significantly to the city of Johnstown coming up $689,000 short in its core services funding during 2013.

    July 24, 2014

  • Kuzma, jonathan Guilty plea in hammer death

    The Johnstown man who authorities said killed his father with a hammer last year pleaded guilty Wednesday to criminal homicide, authorities said.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • quecreek rescue Events to mark anniversary of Quecreek rescue

    When word spread that nine Quecreek miners were trapped underground in July 2002, Bill Arnold’s dairy farm quickly became the rescue effort’s ground zero.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Huger, Stephen Accused Hornerstown shooter will stand trial

    A Johnstown man will stand trial in connection with a July 12 shooting in the Hornerstown section of the city.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Board names Zahorchak’s successor

    The Greater Johnstown school board at a special meeting Thursday named a superintendent to replace the retiring superintendent, rehired its last business manager and approved other administrative appointments.

    July 24, 2014

  • Pasquerilla, Mark Pasquerilla recognized as arts patron

    First lady Susan Corbett announced Thursday from the Jimmy Stewart Museum in Indiana, Pa., that Mark Pasquerilla of Johnstown has earned the Patron Award from the 2014 Governor’s Awards for the Arts.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ebensburg gets ready to party

    Party down with a shutdown.
    Downtown Shutdown, a street party featuring music and food, will be held from 7 to 11 p.m. Friday in downtown Ebensburg.

    July 24, 2014

  • ROTARY Local Rotary Club earns recognition

    The Rotary Club of Johnstown was named Outstanding Large Club of the Year in District 7330, which serves 42 Rotary Clubs in seven counties in southwest Pennsylvania, at the Rotary District 7330 and District 7300 Joint Conference that was held June 26 through 29 at Seven Springs Mountain Resort.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kara Baumgardner ‘I’m helping other people’: Forest Hills freshman donates regularly to Locks of Love

    Summerhill resident Kara Baumgardner has cut her hair a total of four times in the past five years.
    Each time, she has chopped off 10 to 12 inches for donation to Locks of Love, a nonprofit organization that makes wigs for those 21 and younger who have lost their hair due to medical conditions.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo


What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
Order Photos

Photo Slideshow

House Ads