By Allison Skibo

In 2010, American Express started a new holiday shopping tradition when they trademarked Small Business Saturday. The mission is simple: help small businesses do more business. Weelunkers Steve Novotney and Joelle Connors shared some great ideas for local gift-buying and explained why shopping small matters.

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The whole concept is a perfect fit for Reinvent Wheeling – a 501(c)(3) focused on supporting events and businesses from North Wheeling through Centre Market. Executive Director Jake Doughterty and I set up a table outside the Upper Market House to hand out Small Business Saturday swag (courtesy of American Express) and promote Reinvent Wheeling’s upcoming fundraiser, the Joy to the World holiday concert on December 12.

Greeting people with “Happy Small Business Saturday!” was met with smiles and plans of where they planned to shop. Centre-Market-goers were excited to talk about the new energy taking over Wheeling, with one former Ohio Valley resident crediting Weelunk for keeping him in the loop. Even Reinvent Wheeling benefitted from SBS by selling a few branded t-shirts to shoppers who want to wear their hometown name with pride. (Speaking of the shirts, you can purchase one for $15 at the JTTW concert.)

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Lunch at Later Alligator then a treat at Centre Market Bakery. A classic Coleman’s fish sandwich followed by the static electricity demonstration at SMART Centre Market. Hot drinks from Centre Cup Coffee to sip while antique shopping. These aren’t hypothetical ideas for shopping small. These are actual ways people spent Small Business Saturday.

Even the businesses are getting more involved with SBS. Cookiepops invited people in for free hot chocolate and complimentary (delicious) sugar cookies. Under The Elder Tree Massage Therapy and Natural Body Care offered customizable gift baskets. The Wheeling Artisan Center gave out coupons for 20% off an item.

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If you missed Small Business Saturday, don’t worry – every day is a chance to shop small.

Options in the greater Downtown Wheeling area:

Food / Drinks

Bridge Tavern

Casa di Vino

Centre Cup Coffee

Centre Market Bakery

Coleman’s Fish Market

Cookiepops

DiCarlo’s

Good Mansion Wines

Hall of Fame Café

Later Alligator

Lebanon Bakery

Market Vines

Metropolitan Citi Grill

Michael’s Beef House

Oliver’s Pies

River City

Soup Shack

The Cheese Melt

Uncle Pete’s

Vagabond Kitchen

Valley Cheese

Wheeling Coffee & Spice

Wood-N-Stitches

Entertainment / Activities

Art with a Twist

Capitol Theatre

Children’s Museum of the Ohio Valley

Eckhart House

Happy Goat Yoga

Towngate Theater

Victoria Jamboree

WesBanco Arena

West Virginia Independence Hall

Wheeling Nailers

Shopping

Antiques on the Market

Artworks Around Town

Bower on Market

Edna’s Gift Shop

Laupp Florist

Linn Pottery

Paradox Bookstore

Puddleducks

Roadrunner Computer

Shuggy’s Antiques

SMART Centre Market

Stuff with Attitude

Susan’s Antiques

The Alpha Store

The Vintage Cottage

Under the Elder Tree

Wheeling Artisan Center

Wheeling Flower Shop

Yocum’s Antiques

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Photos provided by Allison Skibo.



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