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.
“Downtown Mount Clemens has been celebrating Small Business Saturday since it began,” says Michelle Weiss, marketing coordinator for the Mount Clemens Downtown Development Association. She said the city’s small businesses can’t compete with larger big-box stores, but they offer outstanding customer service.
Various cities, especially those with downtowns, incorporate activities and discounts to get shopper excited about shopping local.
Weiss says that in Mount Clemens, there is a secret shopper that hands out gift cards in local stores to unsuspecting shoppers who happen to be browsing.
“People still find value in shopping in a real downtown,” Weiss says.
Several cities and counties around southeast Michigan are offering specific incentives for shopping small on Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018.
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!
The area of Livernois Avenue and Six Mile in Detroit offers shopping, dining and more for those looking to shop small on Small Business Saturday.
There will be shopping deals, interactive art, special promotions, entertainment and more at the areas boutiques, galleries and shops. Maps are available at all participating retailers.
Shoppers have the chance to win one of five $500 gift cards for shopping Small Business Saturday.
To enter, shoppers should snap a photo of themselves shopping local and post it online at MakeMacombYourHome.com between Nov. 23 and Dec. 2, 2018.
Winners will be announced in a drawing broadcast on Facebook Live at noon on Dec. 3, 2018.
Downtown Mount Clemens business will have special discounts, refreshments and even a secret shopper roaming the downtown area randomly handing out gift cards and gift certificates to shoppers.
There is free parking on the weekends (and after 3 p.m. on weekdays) for those who want to shop small in “the Clem.”
The entire county is encouraging shoppers to patronize indie shops with a Small Business Saturday contest. Make any purchase at an Oakland County small business on Nov. 24, 2018 and save the receipt.
Then, text ShopTextWin to 41411 to receive a link to the shopper registration page. Follow the instructions and submit by Nov. 27, 2018.
Winners will receive their prizes by Dec. 17, 2018.
Dozens of downtown-based businesses will be open, and several are luring customers with special sales.
For example, The Friendship Factory is offering free gift-wrapping with a purchase of $60 or more that Saturday. Also, The Funky Frog Children’s ReSale Boutique is planning Small Business Saturday tote bag giveaways and a gift card giveaway.
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.
Royal Oak is hosting “Small Business Saturday with Santa” on Nov. 24, 2018 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event is held in conjunction with the opening of the alley behind businesses along Main Street.
Expect activities for kids, including visits with Santa. Local businesses like Burn Rubber Sneaker Boutique, Goldfish Tea, Write Impressions and Toyology Toys will give shoppers Royal Oak bags and ornaments for every $25 spent.
To get in the holiday spirit, Saline’s Main Street, located near the intersection of Ann Arbor Street and Michigan Avenue in Saline, is encouraging shoppers to shop small on Small Business Saturday.
Find deals, Michigan-made products and “hashtag sillyness” among the shops and restaurants on Main Street. Parking is free in the area from Monday through Saturday to make shopping even easier.
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.