By LEIGH C. MERRIFIELD
News & Journal Editor
The “countdown” to Christmas begins earlier and earlier each year, and most people by this time have at least begun to think about preparing their holiday shopping lists. Thanksgiving weekend always seems to get folks rolling when it comes to buying, so here is some information you might want to consider.
First of all, don’t rule out shopping locally! While some may head for the malls to take advantage of “Black Friday door-busters” next weekend, others may await “Cyber Monday” for online deals. But, sandwiched in between these two big shopping days is another great option – “Small Business Saturday”.
Small Business Saturday is a nationwide campaign that got its start in 2010, encouraging shoppers to visit locally-owned shops and to spend money within their own communities. The U.S. Small Business Administration reports that small businesses employ an estimated 55 million of the country’s private workforce, and that number is “right on” in West Virginia! So why not give your local shops some of your business?
When shopping small, you’ll avoid traffic jams to and from; you won’t pay shipping costs; you’ll receive a warm reception where business owners are anxious to please you, give you very personal service, and usually they know your name! And they, too, offer bargains and specials!
Shinnston has participated in the ‘Shop Small’ campaign in the past few years and will be making an even bigger “push” this year. Many of Shinnston’s growing downtown businesses are planning a big day of celebration, and, yes – even Santa Claus will be roaming among some of the shops to meet and greet customers with a jolly “HoHoHo”! Santa’s first stop will be at Dynamic Designs from noon until 1 p.m.; then he’ll move on down Pike Street to visit with customers at Shabby Chic Sisters from 1 to 2 p.m. His next stop will be Urban Farmhouse from 2 to 3 p.m. and then right next door at Home Style from 3 to 4 p.m. Feel free to bring your cameras!
Each of Shinnston’s participating businesses will have in-store specials, ranging from discounts to give-aways … with refreshments as well! Pick up your ‘business passport’ that day and be sure to have it marked at each store you visit. Stopping by each of the shops will enter you in a drawing for a large gift basket with items from every shop on the list!
In addition to the small businesses in town, Shinnston’s First United Methodist Church will be hosting an indoor flea market that day along with concessions. Proceeds will benefit youth missions.
At press time, the participating Shinnston businesses include: All Season’s Florist, Dynamic Designs, Gibby’s Ice Cream & Grille, Gillum House Bed & Breakfast, Home Style, Like New Upscale Resale Shop, Shabby Chic Sisters, and Urban Farmhouse. The Shinnston News & Harrison County Journal, although they are closed that day, will contribute a gift certificate for a free one-year subscription toward the gift basket drawing.
Be sure to keep Small Business Saturday, November 28th free on your calendar and plan to visit these local small businesses where the welcome will be warm and the celebration BIG! If you’re a local, you already know how you’ll be received. If you’re visiting for the first time, you will enjoy strolling the streets and you will appreciate the hospitality in Shinnston so much, you’re sure to come back and ‘shop small’ again!
Watch in next week’s edition for a special feature page listing what specials will be offered at each store.