REGION — We’re just a week away from a shopping holiday event held the Saturday after Thanksgiving that aims to boost neighborhood businesses by encouraging shoppers to spend their dollars locally.
Small Business Saturday was created by the credit card giant American Express in November 2010. It was meant to counter the many people that shop Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales and draw attention to the importance of shopping at local businesses over large retailers.
“Ten years ago, the economy was in decline,” said Christine Davis, executive director of the Carlsbad Village Association. “Big box stores and online sales were outpacing sales at small businesses throughout the country. This marketing campaign helped draw attention to small businesses and the Shop Small movement started.”
This year’s event will be on Nov. 30. Different communities will be hosting their own unique activities, deals and giveaways for their shoppers.
Davis said about 80 shops are taking part in Carlsbad. She said starting at 10 a.m., at the corner of State Street and Grand Avenue the Carlsbad Village Association will be giving away 20 Shop Small tote bags each hour, as well as smaller CVA tote bags and Farmers Market bags too. Davis said people can also enter a giveaway for a chance to win gift cards to Village retail stores and restaurants.
“We will text one lucky winner every 20 to 30 minutes and they will have a half-hour to come and claim a gift card of their choice from the Gift Card Giveaway tree at the CVA booth,” she said.
Davis said starting at 4 p.m., the Carlsbad High School Jazz Ensemble will play holiday music at Choice Juicery at the corner of Carlsbad Village Drive and State Street, and other performers will be playing downtown as well.
She said hot chocolate, cookies, cake and candy canes will be given away at the CVA Booth from 4 to 7 p.m.
In neighboring Encinitas, Cardiff 101, Encinitas 101 and Leucadia 101 Main Street have teamed up to promote and support small businesses in their communities.
“With the rise of online shopping, we are seeing a change in shopping trends that are hurting our smaller businesses along Highway 101,” said Irene Pyun, the executive director of Encinitas 101 MainStreet Association. “We decided to create a fun event with special deals, live music, free activities and giveaways to incentivize shoppers to come.”
Pyun said Leucadia 101 plans to jump start their day with a 45-minute yoga session at Gather and Encinitas 101 will start with live music in four locations throughout downtown. She said Cardiff 101 will be hosting various pop-ups in the north end of town with live music as well.
Pyun said each community will be giving away unique limited edition prints to shoppers that day as a thank you for choosing local.
“Small Business Saturday is more than just a one-day shopping event, it is a movement that encourages thoughtful spending,” Pyun said, adding that for every $100 spent, $68 of that will be poured back into the community.
That money helps to stimulate the local economy and keep local business booming. Davis said it also helps keep local communities safe and well maintained.
“The Shop Small movement should really be a year-round way of thinking,” Davis said. “Supporting small businesses is good for every community and should be a way of life.”
Tawny McCray is a native San Diegan and graduate of San Diego State University. She has known she wanted to be a journalist since writing for her Jr. High School newspaper in 1991. She has worked at The Star News in Chula Vista, The San Diego Union Tribune and ABC 10News San Diego. She has recently freelanced for Scripps Ranch News and The Poway Eagle and is a longtime freelancer with creators.com. She is working on authoring books with her twin sister, Nyla. She and her husband have two kids and live in South Park.