'Small Business Saturday' urges Westmoreland holiday shoppers to think, buy locally
For the staff at Beeghly and Co. Jewelers in downtown Greensburg, Small Business Saturday is the real kickoff for the holiday shopping season.
"For us, it's stronger than Black Friday," said owner Brian Beeghly of Somerset. "It's really important, and it's been strengthening each year for us."
Beeghly and Co. is registered with American Express' nationwide "Shop Small" promotion for Small Business Saturday, which the company started in 2010.
The store is one of more than 6,700 across the nation that signed up to be "Neighborhood Champions" — holding events and promotions to draw attention to the importance of shopping locally.
"I think it provides a reminder about how small businesses fit into and benefit the community," said Deb Trevellini of North Huntingdon, who owns Morninglory gift shop on Route 22 in Murrysville.
Trevellini is closing the store and retiring after a 38-year career that saw her switch jobs from human resources to owning a small business.
"Starting a small business, for me, has been the most challenging, creative and rewarding thing I've done," Trevellini said.
And while Trevellini is at the end of her career, Shelby Barrett of Penn Township is just starting hers about a mile up the highway, having opened Bare It Boutique women's clothing shop in May 2016.
"From last year to this year, I think shopping 'small' has gotten even more popular," she said, "and I think more people will be out today even than (Black Friday)."
Michelle Berthelsen grew up in Murrysville and owns Berries & Birch flower, gift and home décor shop on Old William Penn Highway with her husband, Dave. For Berthelsen, being a local business owner is its own reward.
"I've been in Murrysville since I was 9 years old," Berthelsen said. "We really love working with the community."
Trevellini said many of her customers are aware of the impact small business has on the local economy.
"We have a lot of customers who are mindful of it every day," she said. "But it's also a reminder to other folks about the contribution small businesses make to the community."
Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2862, email@example.com or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.