Make it a day to shop small | IN OUR OPINION

This Saturday is an opportunity for everyone to contribute to our local community and our local economy, all at one time.

Saturday is Small Business Saturday.

Small Business Saturday is an American shopping holiday held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving during one of the busiest shopping periods of the year.

First observed on Nov. 27, 2010, it is seen as a counterpart to Black Friday which features big box retailers and Cyber Monday that highlights e-commerce stores.

By contrast, Small Business Saturday encourages holiday shoppers to patronize brick-and-mortar businesses that are small and local.

In 2010, the holiday was promoted by American Express via a nationwide radio and television advertising campaign. That year American Express even bought advertising on Facebook.

Through the use of conventional and social media, the event has grown and blossomed into something that many of us talk about, Facebook and Tweet about, and anticipate with excitement.

Downtown Bainbridge isn’t officially connected with Small Business Saturday, but it’s a good reminder that local merchants rely on island shoppers as a significant part of their business — and islanders should make patronizing small, independent and locally owned stores a part of their year-round buying habits.

That said, Small Business Saturday is just one reason to head down to Winslow this Saturday. The Bainbridge Island Downtown Association is presenting its Holiday Open House from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and many Bainbridge businesses will be having special offers during the day, plus free hot chocolate and cookies and cider at some locations, to complimentary carriage rides. Visit bainbridgedowntown.org or facebook.com/bainbridgeislanddowntownassociation to learn about participating businesses and special deals.

Go ahead, stand in line on Thanksgiving Day, and the Black Friday Day-After, for the best buys possible at the department stores and the national chain discount houses. And on Monday, stay home and buy online.

But get out on Saturday and support your local businesses.  Your actions will help the local business owner, will put money in the local economy, and will help you feel like part of the community.


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