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