Plaid Friday & Small Business Saturday Promote Shopping Locally

shop localPlaid is the new black! According to the organization’s website, the name “Plaid Friday” was conceived from the idea of weaving the individual threads of small businesses together to create a strong fabric that celebrates the diversity and creativity of independent businesses. Plaid Friday is the relaxing and enjoyable alternative to the big box store “Black Friday,” and is designed to promote local and independently owned businesses during the holidays.

The day after Thanksgiving in the United States has long been referred to as “Black Friday,” a day when retail stores across the country hold big sales and welcome throngs of holiday shoppers looking for that special deal. However, in the past few years, many small, locally owned businesses have been participating in “Plaid Friday” – a response to the recent trend of national chains monopolizing the kick-off of the holiday season.

Some of these big retailers have begun to open as early as Thanksgiving evening to get a jump on the Black Friday craze, disrupting employees’ holiday time with family. In addition, the early openings often cause smaller retailers and “Mom & Pop” shops to suffer as their customers flock to the well-hyped super sales. The good news is that Plaid Friday and Small Business Saturday are now beginning to get just as much attention for their focus on supporting small employers, who contribute to local economies and practice good work ethics for the benefit of everyone in their communities.

Plaid Friday was conceptualized a few years ago by entrepreneurs in Oakland, CA, and the movement has spread across the country. Now many communities have organized their own special Plaid Friday deals and events. Help celebrate the movement by wearing plaid while shopping at participating businesses on Friday, November 27th. Look for the special plaid placards at your local shops. Many of these businesses are offering specials during Plaid Friday. For tips on how to get involved, please visit www.plaidfriday.com.

With the support of the Small Business Administration, American Express began their Small Business Saturday program as part of the Shop Small concept a few years back as well. “Shop Small” is a movement encouraging people to shop at small businesses, and millions of individuals, businesses, and communities have embraced it nationwide. Consumers are a key part in helping small businesses thrive. By shopping or dining at small businesses throughout the year, you’re showing your support for the small businesses in the community you call home. For more information on the program, please visit www.shopsmall.com.

“By shopping small, we can help America’s small businesses do what they do best: grow their businesses, create good jobs, and ensure that our communities are vibrant,” says Karen Gordon Mills, the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Skip the stampedes at the malls and shop locally and joyfully instead! This holiday season, please remember to support the small businesses in your own communities, including the wonderful shops at the Mill Falls Marketplace here in Meredith. While shopping small, we make a big difference!

For additional information on Meredith and some of the great events happening around the Lakes Region, visit www.meredithareachamber.com and www.lakesregion.org. And don’t forget to stop by the Mill Falls at the Lake website, too, at www.millfalls.com.

Carrie Reed
The Mill Falls Blogging Team

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