Small Business Saturday shines a spotlight on local businesses | News, Sports, Jobs

T-R PHOTOS BY SUSANNA MEYER — Vic and Gayle Hellberg, the owners of Hellberg Jewelers, one of several local businesses that participated in Small Business Saturday in Marshalltown.

Small Business Saturday gives local mom and pop operations a chance to shine after the big shopping rushes of Black Friday at larger chain stores. Matt Gerstandt, the owner of Black Tire Bike Co said it had been a slightly slow day.

“Small Business Saturday hasn’t been gangbusters, but we’re running some select specials and we’ve had some good foot traffic,” Gerstandt said.

While it may not have been as busy as some would have liked, Gerstandt said the Holiday Stroll had a positive impact on business the previous week, jumpstarting the revenue a week early. He remains optimistic for the upcoming holiday season.

“Kids bikes have been great for availability, so we’re getting some of those families that have been patiently waiting for kids bikes. Some of those supply chains are loosening up just a little bit,” Gerstandt said.

Gerstandt also wanted to stress the importance of shopping locally not just because customers can feel better about where their dollars are going.

Matt Gerstandt, the owner of Black Tire Bike Co on Main Street, was happy to see the foot traffic in the downtown area on Small Business Saturday.

“Don’t shop local because it’s local, shop local because you’re getting better service,” Gerstandt said.

Another Main Street Business, Hellberg’s Jewelers, owned by Vic and Gayle Hellberg, was open for business on Saturday, and they were hopeful it would be a successful day.

“It’s definitely better than an average Saturday, so that’s the good part,” Vic Hellberg said.

The Hellbergs also participated in the Marshalltown Area Chamber of Commerce Chamber Bucks giveaway. Select businesses offered the opportunity to register to win Chamber Bucks of different values depending on the business. The Chamber of Commerce has sponsored this giveaway for several years running in an effort to incentivize shopping locally and to support small businesses. While Vic Hellberg has never asked customers if the Chamber Bucks giveaway was a motivation for them to come shop, he was certain it had an effect.

“I know that makes a difference to people. They do come down because our chamber does a good job for our community,” Vic Hellberg said.

Chamber of Commerce Director John Hall was enthusiastic about the giveaway, hoping it would be a helpful tool for businesses looking to gain more shoppers on Small Business Saturday.

“We know the value of small businesses, and the Chamber Bucks giveaway is one more tool to bring in more business,” Hall said.

The Chamber of Commerce partners with the Small Business Development Center, which provides the materials for events like these and ships them to participating businesses. Chamber Bucks can be redeemed at any business or organization that is a member of the Marshalltown Area Chamber of Commerce, and participating businesses can be found at www.marshalltown.org.

In addition to the giveaway, the Chamber of Commerce also partners with Shop Iowa, which provides a free online platform for small businesses to sell online. With resources like Shop Iowa, Hall hopes small businesses can thrive in Marshalltown all year, not just on Small Business Saturday.

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Contact Susanna Meyer at 641-753-6611 or

[email protected]


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