WILLCOX — Shop Small Saturday hit Willcox last weekend despite the chill in the air.
According to City of Willcox Business Engagement Specialist Jordan Parrish, in 2018, 58 percent of the city’s sales tax revenue came from retail sales, 12 percent comes from hotels, 10 percent from restaurants and bars and 7 percent from contracting.
“I can tell you that 199 businesses have current licenses with the city (although at least a few of them have closed), and the majority of them are independent businesses,” Parrish said. “Also worth pointing out is that, unlike many small towns with a single major employer, we’re a lot more resilient in the face of economic trouble because of the variety of employment sources we have here. While we don’t have many flashy businesses operating in the area, we do have a lot of entrepreneurial people and a supportive community.”
The Range News visited several locally-owned businesses on Saturday located along Railroad Avenue. Rodney’s Restaurant began cooking promptly at 11 a.m., and many of the local wineries opened at that time as well.
Susie Vaughn, owner of Buffalo Sisters Trading Post Antiques and Collectables, had the doors open Saturday morning to greet visitors and talk precious stones with fellow enthusiast and customer Dove Schnebly.
“We’re doing better this year than we did two years ago,” Vaughn said.
The dual tasting room of the Copper Horse Vineyard and the Golden Rule Vinyard was the next stop. Gene and Ceci Rogge were visiting from Phoenix, tasting in the Willcox Commercial Building and lauded both wineries.
“We came back specifically for the Riesling (a Copper Horse wine) It’s dry and we particularly like that one,” Ceci said. “What Willcox could really use is a boutique hotel, right in the downtown area. And for the businesses to be consistent with their hours would be a help.”