ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The holiday shopping season is in full swing. You may want to consider shopping locally this weekend, in honor of Small Business Saturday.
In 2022, Small Business Saturday generated almost $18 billion in revenue, according to a survey by American Express.
On Saturday, more than 350 local shops and vendors will be set up in Vinoy Park in downtown St. Petersburg for Shopapalooza. Featured businesses will be selling everything from clothes and jewelry to food and art.
Eniko Olah is the owner of Sans Market, a zero waste lifestyle store in St. Pete. Olah has been participating in Shopapalooza for more than five years and said the event helped her build up a large enough customer base to open a brick-and-mortar.
“We get to engage with a lot of new customers and let them know that we exist and what we’re all about,” Olah said. “Ultimately, we use that to bring them to the store, so it’s important obviously for the day of for the sales we generate, but really for us it’s about new connections with the community.”
Olah said a lot of small businesses in the area have been struggling with issues like the rising cost of rent and inventory, as well as staffing. She and other owners are hopeful a busy holiday season will keep the small business community thriving.
“If we want St. Pete to stay as cool and unique and beautiful as it is, I think it’s really critical to support the small businesses so we don’t have the big chains coming in,” Olah said. “It changes the atmosphere, it changes the vibe. Let’s keep it the way it is, I say.”
You can find Sans Market and hundreds of other local vendors at Shopapalooza from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free. Click here for more information, including a full list of featured vendors.