Shoppers urged to ‘shop small’ on Small Business Saturday

Shoppers can make an impact with their holiday spending this year by shopping small on Small Business Saturday, according to the Small Business Economic Impact Study from American Express.

Small businesses across Delaware will participate in hopes of supplying shoppers with their wish list needs one business at a time.

“What began nine years ago as an effort to support local stores during the holiday shopping season has become the Shop Small movement, bringing together millions of shoppers, small businesses of all kinds, civic leaders and organizations in thousands of towns and cities across the country,” Chief Marketing Officer at American Express, Elizabeth Rutledge said.

“Shopping small has a significant and positive effect on local communities, and we hope Small Business Saturday will help to amplify that effect during the crucial holiday shopping season. When we spend local, small businesses thrive. And when small businesses thrive, we all thrive.”

American Express found that, on average, 67 cents per dollar spent at a small business stays in their local community.

Of that money slated to stay in the community, about 44 cents goes to the small business owner, employee wages and benefits while the other 23 cents is then reinvested into other local businesses.

For some towns, like Milford, Small Business Saturday also offers a way for the community to get involved and stay connected.

The celebratory day rings in the start of the holiday season as Santa Claus is delivered to his doorstep on Walnut Street at 11 a.m. on a firetruck provided by Carlisle Fire Company.

He will stay until 3 p.m. that day, hearing the wishes of children from around the area.

Santa Claus will be home every Friday night from 5-8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday afternoons from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. for children 12 and under. Children who visit will receive a free picture with Santa, a candy cane, a stocking filled with candy and a chance to win a weekly drawing for a Downtown Milford gift certificate.

During Small Business Saturday, shops will be open in downtown Milford, many with holiday deals to help shoppers of all ages with their shopping needs.

Free gift wrapping will be available at Gallery 37: A Destination for Artful Living for local purchases with proof of receipts.

Second Street Players at Riverfront Theatre will offer their very first Small Business Saturday specials on main stage shows from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Nov. 24. Regularly $17-20 per seat, vouchers will be available for purchase in person at just $12 per ticket.

Avid theatre goers can purchase up to four vouchers per show for the 2019 season – a 35 percent savings.

The day signifies another milestone for Bikes, Etc., owned by Jack Schaffer of Milford, which will offer bicycles in stock at 25 percent off this Saturday while celebrating their 25th year in downtown Milford.

City of Milford officials tie the day together with the annual Christmas Tree Lighting event at City Hall at 5 p.m.

The Milford Central Academy Choir will sing Christmas carols as the trees are lit with cheer in the front circle drive of City Hall.

Downtown Dover plans on a festive Small Business Saturday, as well, featuring side walk sales, a craft and vendor fair, food trucks, kids’ activities, entertainment and a raffle for $100 American Express gift cards.

Many businesses throughout the state will be open with their own specials for the day, much like those in downtown Milford and Dover.

The Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce dedicated space on their website to promote deals from member businesses, found at www.cdcc.net/shoplocal/.

Restaurants are even adding to the holiday spending cheer with gift card deals.

Brick Works Brewing and Eats in Smyrna, for example, is offering an additional $10 when customers purchase $50 in gift cards, or $25 when $100 is spent.

Although they happen just once a year, the deals small business owners can offer on Small Business Saturday are worth every penny.

“Shop Small Business Saturday is a chance for you to support your local businesses in the heart of historic Milford.

It is a time to think ‘small’ and shop ‘small,’ show your support and reinvest in your community because independent businesses give back to their home town,” Downtown Milford, Inc. Executive Director Murrie Zoltziver said.

The study by American Express reports that 94 percent of consumers “value the contributions small businesses make in their community.”

“When shoppers spend locally at small businesses, communities win,” said National Federation of Independent Business CEO and President Juanita D. Duggan.

“We encourage consumers to celebrate Small Business Saturday by shopping at small and independent shops and restaurants. We are proud to partner with American Express to promote small businesses.”

 

Reach staff writer Jennifer Antonik at jantonik@newszap.com

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