Small Business Saturday

Meat Market

Dear Reader:

How did I not hear about this last year? I will blame it on my avoidance of all things “Black Friday” which happens to be the day before “Small Business Saturday.” You couldn’t catch me within ten miles of the Maine Mall or Target or Walmart or any place with a large parking-lot the day after Thanksgiving. I tried that once. Two days before giving birth to the Teen. I was with my sis-in-law, and we circled the mall parking lot for about half an hour before giving up on finding a parking space and going home to my apartment in Westbrook to eat some leftover pie. Looking back, it was probably for the best. I would NOT have wanted to go into labor in the midst of sales-crazed, sleep-deprived retail divas.

Anyway, this year I saw the very catchy advertisement promotion for Small Business Saturday and practically jumped up into a spontaneous version of a pep-rally cheer I learned my senior year in high school. Okay, I just made that up. Truly, I can’t think of any 1980’s high-school cheer that would fit. I just wanted to throw in some mention of cheering since it was actually quite fun and totally unexpected for me…I’d always been a b-ball player, but for reasons I won’t mention, we didn’t have a team that year. I tried out for cheering instead. I liked it. Who knew?

There is a connection here, I promise. Maybe you’ve always been a big-box shopper. You’ve trained for it. You have become rather adept at following the sales fliers and know the store layouts by heart. Cashiers greet you by name. You are a super-store super-star.

But what if you are missing out on a really fun, exciting shopping experience in your locally-owned small business community? Perhaps here you would truly shine . . . or at least expand your retail horizons! Cheer yourself or a loved one with some really unique handmade items at the local gift shop. Cartwheel your way through the carefully-vetted book selection at the non-chain bookstore the next town over. Spring into back flips when you realize the meat at the local butcher shop is grass-fed, antibiotic-free and reasonably-priced to boot. Victory will be yours when you sit down with a well-deserved glass of wine from an in-state vintner and realize that your hard-earned (and hard-spent) money will be staying in the community rather than flying out of state or out of country into the pockets of shadowy corporate executives.

Give me a “V!” Give me an “I!” Give me a . . . well, you get the picture.

Don’t forget. Make a plan. Mark the date. Saturday, November 25, 2011. Small Business Saturday. Shop small.

2 responses to “Small Business Saturday

  1. I plan to participate in Small business Saturday as well. I also saw the commericial and thought “what a great idea!” I’m already trying to plan and strategize for where I can find some cool gifts locally.
    First, I was thinking that I’ll head down to that big yellow barn in Alfred that carries all of the very nice country/crafty items. I also will plan to check out the hardware store and of course Giles, Ed’s Grove, and maybe even Baby Mama. I think at the very least I’ll be able to find great gifts for the “Yankee Swap” my siblings and I do at Christmas.
    I really hope that everyone particpates and gets into a locally owned business to shop on that Saturday. Although, sadly..I’m sure that most of what I’ll find to buy in these local businesses will carry items that are “made in China” (or some other country). Oh well….at least it’ll help to keep the business itself afloat.

    Thanks Shelley!

  2. Great Christy!
    Don’t forget that there are lots of craft fairs around this time of year, too, where you can buy locally MADE items. I’m going to shop at At Once All Agog and Plummers Hardware. I already bought a few things at an antique store in Bangor, so I’m counting that! The Limerick Supermarket carries Dole’s Farm jams and jellies . . . those always make nice swap gifts. I get hair products from Kimberlee at Nurturing Tranquility Salon & Spa in Limington. She’s doing buy one/get one gift certificates the weekend after Thanksgiving. So if you buy say, $25 in certificates, you actually get $50 worth of certificates. In any denomination.

    Maybe if more of us start shopping locally, even MORE small, local stores will open.

    I’ll be interested to see what kind of sales figures this generates for local businesses! Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

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