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Helping support local businesses

By Terry Hagerty – Contributing writer/photographer

Shopping small makes a huge impact

Saturday, November 25th, is a chance for shoppers to show their appreciation for Bastrop’s small businesses during the annual Small Business Saturday event. Held across the nation each year between the bookends of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday promotes local shopping which helps sustain small local businesses that boost the local economy while maintaining their locations – often in historic downtowns and neighborhoods. And that is particularly the case for Bastrop, with many of its businesses in the downtown area located in historic 19th-century buildings. Small Business Saturday is also meant for customers to help support all of Bastrop’s small businesses, several store owners emphasized.

Small Business Saturday was first held in 2010 in Roslindale Village, Mass., as a counterpart to Black Friday – which is typically a heavily advertised event keyed toward big-box and brand-name retailers. Small Business Saturday was originally sponsored by American Express and the non-profit National Trust for Historic Preservation. It is also celebrated in Great Britain following its establishment in the U.S.

Stephen and Cheri Todee, owners of Copper Shot Distillery in Downtown Bastrop. (Terry Hagerty Photography)

Stephen and Cheri Todee, the owners of Coppery Shot Distillery in The Crossing in downtown Bastrop, say the support of small businesses is crucial to retain Bastrop’s unique flavor. “We live locally and we encourage locals to come out and meet us on Small Business Saturday,” Cheri said. Stephen concurred, “It’s a great opportunity for shoppers to support their local community.” Copper Shot, which opened in February, distills a variety of spirits on-site using their own stills. The popular business, whose elevated patio overlooks the Colorado River and is the site of the monthly Pickin’ On The Porch music jam, offers “free taste testing” of its spirits. Stephen and Cheri posed for a quick photo next to their new 100-gallon still, which Stephen said improves the distillation process and increases the number of products they can offer. Visitors are also attracted by the large front window of Copper Shot which gives a bird’s-eye view of the large brewing pots. “We saw those large copper pots and just had to come in and look,” said a shopper visiting Bastrop from Houston. 

“The EDC supports small businesses throughout the year, but Small Business Saturday is a day to get shoppers out and into our local stores,” said Shawn Kirkpatrick, Executive Director of the Bastrop Economic Development Corporation. This year, the EDC has supplied special edition “Just East of Weird” shopping bags to local retailers. Said Kirkpatrick, “Come out and shop local to support our neighbors this holiday season, and help keep our sales tax dollars in Bastrop.”