Families flock to Riverside Arts Market for Small Business Saturday

For every $100 spent, $68 stays in community

Families and grassroots businesses thrived at Small Business Saturday.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jessie Ewing is a mom of four who turned her passion for natural soaps, bath bombs and lotions into a budding business.

“I was doing this on the side as well as having a full time job in Orlando but when we came up here I was like, ‘I really don’t want to have the two jobs because I want to be with the kids,’” she said.

Seven years later, her trips to the Riverside Arts Market are a family affair. She says this Saturday is one of the most important.

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“We depend on the holiday season, and we depend on the community, and they know it, and they come out and support us,” she said.

Ewing’s business Bella Lina Bath was one of 132 small businesses that set up shop at Riverside Arts Market Saturday.

Known as Small Business Saturday, it’s a citywide push to make sure small businesses thrive each holiday season.

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Shawn Gallagher was behind one stand that got a lot of attention. He makes sunburned signs on reclaimed wood. Families can watch the whole process.

“This wood I’m about to burn was headed toward the landfill. I’m using no electricity at all. Even these letters came from garbage being thrown away,” he said.

Families told Action News Jax the handmade gifts are special.

“You don’t go and find the kind of quality that you see here,” Jeff Terrebonne said.

Experts say for every $100 spent, $68 stays in the community.

"We turn around, and we spend it within the community, and we also create jobs," Ewing said.

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