Kevin Paredes/Photo Editor Tom’s Coffee, Cards and Gifts on Main Street in Binghamton offered customers a 20 percent discount on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 25.

What can you get at Tom’s Coffee, Cards and Gifts on Main Street? Coffee beans, handmade pottery and a 20 percent discount on Small Business Saturday.

On Nov. 25, Tom’s and other local vendors took part in the day, a post-Thanksgiving tradition founded by American Express in 2010. Since 1982, Tom’s Coffee, Cards and Gifts has been a staple of the Binghamton community. According to owner Tom Kelleher, he’s advocated for supporting small businesses since before the official day to do so was created.

“We really just want to support the community,” Kelleher said. “When you buy within the area, the money goes back to people here.”

More than 100 people visited Tom’s on Saturday, which is much more than a typical weekend, Kelleher said. All customers who mentioned Small Business Saturday, or its “Shop local” slogan, received the discount.

At the Broome County Regional Farmers Market in Binghamton, the first 50 attendees received complimentary tote bags before shopping from more than 30 local vendors. Vendors at the farmers market included Binghamton Brewing Co., a local craft beer business, and Infiniti Greens, a startup launched by Joseph Rigoroso, a BU senior majoring in business administration.

At the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel on Water Street, more than 20 local vendors, including LuLaRoe, a company that sells women’s clothing, set up stations in the main ballroom. While vendors sold products from 10 a.m. to noon, the hotel provided warm chocolate chip cookies and coffee for customers.

Broome County Executive Jason Garnar tweeted his support of local businesses on Saturday.

“I want to see our local economy do as well as it can,” Garnar tweeted. “Small businesses are the life of our community.”

Not all businesses saw a spike in customers, though. Places like Buffy’s Burritos on Washington Street, which rely heavily on student traffic, missed out since most students left the area for Thanksgiving break. Buffy’s Burritos even decided to close early, at 5 p.m.

New York’s Empire State Development, the Department of Labor, Department of Taxation and Finance and Department of Agriculture and Markets all endorsed the initiative and encouraged state residents to support the economy by purchasing goods from local stores. Richard Ball, commissioner for the Department of Agriculture and Markets, said customers who shop small can often find unique, one-of-a-kind items.

“From Buffalo to Long Island, innovative food and beverage producers are creating delicious products that you can’t find anywhere else,” Ball said in a press release. “They make great gifts and buying local helps spur the regional economy.”

Howard Zemsky, president and CEO of Empire State Development, said in a press release that the organization encourages residents to shop locally. Between 2014 and 2015, the Southern Tier’s gross regional product decreased by 4.4 percent, or nearly $1.3 billion in economic activity.

“Small businesses employ more than half of New York’s private-sector workforce and are the backbone of our economy,” Zemsky said. “We encourage New Yorkers to come out and support our small businesses on Saturday, and every day, in order to boost local economies and strengthen communities across the state.”

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