BINGHAMTON (WBNG) — Small Business Saturday has people thinking about shopping local, something that local business owner Heidi Weeks says celebrates the vibrancy of Downtown Binghamton.
“There’s been such a blossoming of this neighborhood again, part of that is because of the growth of the university and the students that live downtown,” said Heidi Weeks, owner of Mabel D Orr on Washington Street in Binghamton.
Those students and new businesses Weeks says breathe new life into a neighborhood with a rich history.
“I love the old buildings. I mean my space has the old tin ceilings.It was the old Pagliacci Grocery Store, it has history,” Weeks said.
Local business owners say it has taken a lot of hard work to make Washington Street what it is today.
“This is gorgeous Washington Street and a lot of community effort has gone into it to make it beautiful and make it a cool place,” said Sherry Eaton, owner of the Garland Gallery, also on Washington Street.
Weeks says that growth has spurred a new enthusiasm for small businesses in the area.
“I think with the growth of Downtown Binghamton again people are really wanting to hop on board and support the little guy,” said Weeks.
Eaton says it’s not just newcomers who contribute to that growth but old ones too.
“A lot of people that are old customers of ours bring in new people all the time and then those people come and bring new people,” Eaton said.
One local business owner says he enjoys the desire to find something special.
“When you’re buying gifts for people you care about you want to buy something unique, something you won’t find anywhere else,” said Robert Wandell, owner of Imagicka on Court Street.
Weeks says it’s also an opportunity to see what’s new in a growing downtown business district.
“Support the businesses that create your town walk your downtown and see what’s there there are so many things opening up restaurants, shops,” Weeks said
Weeks also said that she hopes the spotlight on small businesses doesn’t fade after Saturday.