Go ahead. Have at it. Join the hustle and bustle of big time mall shopping and looking for those big electronic items you can only find in the big box stores, then, slow down a bit and get selective. Find Christmas gifts that special person on your list will not get from anyone else. This coming Saturday, Nov. 27, is the American Express Small Business Saturday, and a lot of stores are offering special events, special deals and special service.
As far as the merchants who are part of Main Street Portsmouth (MSP), Small Business Saturday is sandwiched between two very special days. The first MSP Open House was this past Saturday, Nov. 19.
“We have three weeks of shopping events,” Joseph Pratt, Director of MSP, said. “We have our Holiday Open House which kicked off this past Saturday and our second Open House is on Dec. 3.”
The merchants in MSP will be going all out for Small Business Saturday in between their Open House events.
“The idea behind it is to get people to come downtown and shop small,” Pratt said. “Most of the businesses in downtown will have specials and they’ll have treats like apple cider, cookies, and hot chocolate. Everyone is kind of doing their own thing.” Pratt said many of the businesses will be giving away gifts and other treats for shoppers.
One thing that makes shopping in local stores special is the uniqueness of the items you’ll find on their shelves.
“Most of our things are ones of a kind,” Sharon Bender at Ghosts in the Attic said. “They weren’t made one of a kind, but now, because of time passing, they are one of a kind. They’re unique items you can’t find any place else. The people who were just here bought a load of stuff for Christmas; things they can’t buy someplace else.” Bender said Ghosts in the Attic takes all credit cards and offers lay-away.
“I think a lot of people don’t realize they (local businesses) have lay-away, because they’re a small business, and most small businesses don’t offer lay-away, but most of the shops downtown will actually work with their customers to afford the higher end gifts that they offer through lay-away opportunities in their shops.”
In addition to the sale of unique gift ideas, there will be entertainment in some of the local MSP stores.
“We’ll have live music, Pike Holt is playing,” Gail Valentine at Packrats said. “And we’re having food and drinks.”
Small Business Saturday is a day to celebrate and support small businesses and their role in their communities.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.