While Black Friday is a day familiar to everyone featuring sales and deals to kick off the Christmas shopping season, Shop Small Saturday is a day dedicated to celebrating small businesses and highlighting the stores in the local area.
While the big focus for Elkin will be businesses in the downtown area, other small businesses around town and in the county also may have specials and discounts on Nov. 28, which is the observance of Shop Small Saturday this year.
“I’m in the process of visiting all the downtown merchants and see what kind of specials they are providing,” explained Laura Gaylord, Main Street and community manager for the town of Elkin, of the coordination occurring downtown.
She said each downtown merchant participating will get a list of the others to share with shoppers on Saturday.
“Shoppers can come downtown Saturday and get a passport from any of the participating merchants,” she said. Shoppers will then get at least five spots on the passport signed off on, and then leave their passport with the last participating business they visit for the day.
“I will collect the passports the following week, and then we’ll have a drawing for downtown bucks which can be cashed in at locations downtown which are part of the merchants’ association,” said Gaylord.
“We have a lot of new merchants this year, and we hope to get them up to speed so they can sign up,” she said.
The goal of Shop Small Saturday is to keep small area businesses on the forefront of people’s minds when they are thinking about Christmas gifts during the holidays. “Many times during the holidays so much advertising money is used for malls and chain stores, it drives people to the malls, and so the little small businesses get left behind and [people] forget about their local businesses,” Gaylord explained.
“American Express started the promotion across the nation to help have almost like a holiday for the small businesses because they are so important to communities,” she said. “And to bring consumer dollars back to our own community and thank the small businesses for always being here and being open.”
Gaylord is promoting the Shop Small Saturday for the downtown businesses, while Myra Cook, president of the Yadkin Valley Chamber of Commerce, is organizer for chamber merchants, and the Small Business Center at the Elkin Center is coordinating the promotion for the county merchants.
“We are hoping to have help for the other small businesses throughout town, but our focus is for downtown for the bucks drawing,” she said.
Merchants interested in participating in the Shop Small event should contact Gaylord at the town at 336-794-6469.
“The shops will offer discounts or free items. They all have little specials they are doing, and I’m hopeful they will stay open later than normal for the day,” said Gaylord.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.