While the best Black Friday deals drive shoppers toward big box stores and national chains, Small Business Saturday turns the deal-hunters to smaller, locally-owned businesses for their holiday gifts.
Started in 2010 by American Express to support small business, Small Business Saturday is celebrated the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Consumers are urged to shop and eat at independent retailers and restaurants. This year, Small Business Saturday celebrates 10 years of supporting local merchants.
In Rochester, the Rochester Downtown Development Authority encourages shoppers to shop small all year, but especially on Small Business Saturday, says Jenna O’Dell, events coordinator for the Rochester DDA.
“As we are all aware, throughout the years, brick-and-mortar businesses are not as successful as online shopping. Online shopping is taking over and hurting small businesses across the country. Small business owners work extremely hard to run their business all year and for most of our small business owners here in Rochester, it is their only source of income,” says O’Dell.
To support the business owners in Rochester, the DDA plans events on Small Business Saturday to encourage shoppers to visit the city. There will be free carriage rides on Saturday, Nov. 30 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and The Big, Bright Light Show, the downtown holiday light display, will be aglow from 5 p.m. until midnight. O’Dell says shoppers can find sales and discounts at stores throughout the city.
Rochester isn’t the only town marking the 10th anniversary of Small Business Saturday. Here are some highlights in Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne counties. Did we forget anyone? Let us know in the comments. We’d love to add even more cities to the list!
Shoppers have the chance to win one of five $500 gift cards for shopping Small Business Saturday. There are more than 1,600 small businesses in Macomb County. Shoppers who take a picture of themselves “shopping small” in Macomb County and post it online between Nov. 29 and Dec. 8, 2019, could win one of the gift cards. Winners will be randomly selected during a live Facebook drawing at noon on Monday, Dec. 9.
New Baltimore has plenty of Small Business Saturday shopping options, including the New Baltimore Farmers Market indoor holiday market at the New Baltimore Civic Center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The entire county is encouraging shoppers to patronize small shops with a Small Business Saturday contest. Make any purchase at an Oakland County small business on Nov. 30, 2019, and save the receipt. There are three ways to enter. Text ShopTextWin to 41411 by Dec. 3 and save your receipt. Winners will be notified by Dec. 11. Enter online and attach photos/scans of your Nov. 30, 2019, receipt. Or, photocopy and hand-deliver your Nov. 30 receipts to the One Stop Shop Business Center in the L. Brooks Patterson Building in Waterford. The deadline is Dec. 3, 2019, at 4:30 p.m.
The Livernois, Hilton and Iron Ridge business districts will offer plenty of fun holiday finds during the Ferndale Small Business Saturday event. Visit the Downtown Ferndale Welcome Station from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Rust Belt Market for free swag and a $5 bill from Level One Bank to help with some holiday shopping.
Dozens of downtown-based businesses will be open, and several are luring customers with special sales.
There are many businesses participating in Rochester, including MI State of Mind, which will offer $10 off every $50 spent ad also have several giveaways. Catching Fireflies will have free Michigan Mints with every purchase plus free Sherpa Socks with a purchase over $60.
While shopping in Downtown Rochester, enjoy complimentary carriage rides from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. They start at the corner of East Fourth and Main streets.
The area of Livernois Avenue and Six Mile will feature a Small Business Saturday Market. The indoor market will have entertainment, baked goods and a variety of vendor booths for shopping.
Hamtramck is offering Small Business Saturday deals and a raffle for shoppers. Pick up a shopper passport starting Nov. 22 at Oloman Cafe, Tekla Vintage, Wheelhouse Detroit or the Polish Art Center, all located on Joseph Campau Avenue. For more information, check out the Hamtrack Small Business Saturday Facebook event.
Main Street in Wayne will hold two Small Business Saturday events this year. “Kick Off at Karma Coffee” will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Karma Coffee, 35634 W. Michigan Ave. Registration will be held at Derby’s Alley at 34924 W. Michigan Ave. in Wayne.
Shoppers can pick up a Small Business Saturday tote bag – some of the bags will contain gift cards to local stores. There will also be free visits with Santa at the State Wayne Theatre. Events are free but RSVP is requested.
The Dexter Chamber of Commerce is encouraging shoppers to stay local and get your holiday gifts from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Small Business Saturday. Check out the area’s shopping district to find great deals and other fun.
Saline Main Street is throwing a party on both Black Friday and Small Business Saturday this year. Head downtown for a tailgate, pub crawl, sandwich art and, of course, plenty of great deals from local businesses.
This post is updated annually.