Small businesses in Wilmington prepare for Small Business Saturday
The Delaware Division of Small Business highlights small businesses in Wilmington ahead of Small Business Saturday.
Division officials joined the Small Business Administration and others to promote businesses on Market Street this week - including Spaceboy Clothing.
Co-owners David Sanchez and Noah Merenda started the custom apparel printing business in 2009. They do everything in-house, by hand, and Merenda says they appreciate the support they get beyond sales.
“What I’ve found being in business is the only thing that really works is word of mouth," Merenda says. "When you do something good for somebody they’ll tell somebody else who will tell somebody else, and that’s just how it grows.”
Merenda adds they survived COVID by running the business almost by themselves, and printing many mask orders.
Delaware SBA Director Michelle Harris says Soaceboy and other businesses are still recovering from the pandemic, primarily in the workforce.
“And they’re just being creative about where to find it," Harris says. "Some have decided that they’re going to partner with high schools and really go in and maybe start to develop that workforce. And others are just incentivizing their current staff to say, ‘Hey why don’t you bring in some of your friends to work?’ So it’s really just being innovative and thinking out of the box to try and solve it.”
But Harris adds businesses are getting back to strategizing for the long term.
Ryan Eanes is cofounder of a new bookstore on Market Street called Huxley and Hiro. He says a key piece of the puzzle is being involved in and knowing their community.
“Community engagement is crucial I think, especially post-pandemic in this new retail environment, if you’re not sincere about it and you’re not strategic at the same time, I don’t think a brick-and-mortar business is going to succeed," Eanes says. "But that is always something we knew had to stay a number one priority.”
Eanes adds they are looking to connect with local schools next year to help teachers and librarians find new ways to get kids reading.
The bookstore will open early at 9 a.m. for Small Business Saturday.
Small Business Saturday is November 25.