Rocky Hill shops were vacant Saturday afternoon on a day devoted to bringing commerce to small businesses around the country.
November 26 is Small Business Saturday, which is a movement to get more people to shop at community stores. For the Rocky Hill Chamber of Commerce, Small Business Saturday is a chance to support the local economy.
"My goal on Small Business Saturday is to encourage people to shop locally and promote a sustainable living economy," said Executive Director Paul Carr.
Carr stated that small businesses pump more money into the local communities than "big box" stores. Local business owners also offer better wages to employees, he added.
"It is incredibly important. As a community, we need to build small businesses."
The Rocky Hill Chamber of Commerce is expected to join BALLE, which stands for Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, within the next year. The goal of BALLE is to build sustainable local economies, according to their website.
was slow on Saturday with very few customers coming into the shop. However, their business relies heavily on return customers because they do not get a lot of road traffic.
"All businesses have been very slow," said an employee at . "With the economy being what it is, it is no surprise."
Even with the down economy, , which sells new and refurbished pianos and guitars among other items, has had steady business. On Saturday, the store was empty and only had a few customers on Friday. However, Owner Robert J. Rustigian said his business caters to a particular clientele, ones who want "quality" products and services, not just low prices.
"I am selling to people who play music."
According to Rustigian, he, who has owned since the summer of 2008, drove his 'big box' store competition, Falcetti Music, out of town last summer because of high quality of services and products. He said that he prides his business on services before and after the sale. He offers a 20-year warranty when other stores only three to five year warranties.
"I never have to fix a piano."
The high quality equipment leads to "better results," Rustigian stated. Those results do not only apply to instruments, he added.
"You have to give them good quality equipment."
Children need good equipment to succeed in sports or music and often, ones who do not have it quit, Rustigian said.
"It is no different when you expose your child to piano. It has to play properly," he said. "We have some families that just don't get that."