Get Your Shopping Pants on For Small Business Saturday

  • 2021-11-07, 04:34 AM (update 2021-11-07, 04:43 AM)
  • Jo Petteruti
Get Your Shopping Pants on For Small Business Saturday

Shopping local on Small Business Saturday is a great way to burn off some excess calories that may have stayed on board after the turkey was gone. Lucy Carnahan, Executive Director for the Fallon Chamber of Commerce is looking forward to it this year. “We are very excited once again. Small Business Saturday is an American shopping holiday held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, November 27 this year, during one of the busiest shopping periods of the year. The Fallon Chamber along with CEDA/SBDC has decided to host this campaign and add a little Fallon twist.”

Scavenger hunt games have been played in prior years during this event with the intent of bringing shoppers into local businesses that they may not have previously visited. To change things up this year, a Business Bingo game is planned. “I'm thrilled about the bingo this year. The scavenger hunt was wonderful because it made people go into a business and ask a question, but they didn't always shop. So, this year we'd like them to spend a little bit at their stops while they are having fun. Small Business Saturday is an event meant to support local businesses. The idea is to bring shoppers into businesses they may not have visited before while trying to complete their bingo.”

Carnahan said this year, the Welcome Booth for shoppers will open at 8:00 a.m. at the Old Post Office located at 90 North Maine Street. Telegraph Coffee and Tap will be providing the coffee, “so the people can get their coffee, shopping bag, and game pieces all at the same time, then go off to do their shopping.” Carnahan also said she is also expecting a few craft vendors there for additional early morning shopping opportunities, because “not too many of our businesses are open at 8:00 a.m.”

Small Business Saturday is a nationwide event sponsored by American Express and provides shopping bags and other goodies to Neighborhood Champions as part of the program. The Chamber and CEDA/SBDC signed up with American Express as Fallon's Neighborhood Champions. Part of their preparation for the Fallon event has been to prepare 150 shopping bags with swag, coupons, business cards, information, and such from participating businesses. “If you're an insurance agent, and want your brochures in there, we'll put them. Last year, The Fallon Post donated 150 newspapers, so that one had your game pieces, your newspaper, and your coupons. It was a nice bag.”

Shoppers will visit four, five or more businesses as needed to complete a bingo on their card. They will have to spend five dollars at each stop to have their card signed off for that stop. All completed bingo cards will go into a raffle where gift baskets and other donated items from the businesses will be awarded. “The cut-off to turn in bingo cards at one of our local businesses, yet to be named, will be 5:00 p.m. The drawings for the raffle prizes will happen around 5:30 or 6:00 p.m.”

The #GurkaInBusiness Photo Contest, sponsored by CEDA/SBDC is also happening again this year. Shoppers have to find the Gurka, take a picture with him in that business, and post it online using the hashtag #GurkaInBusiness to have their photo entered into a drawing.

An amazing amount of work goes into preparing for and pulling off this event. Beyond organizing and advertising, mass emails are sent inviting businesses to participate, asking if they would like to be involved and how they would like to be involved, with all responses being recorded. One week prior to the event, final postings of the confirmed businesses are advertised on the Chamber's social media platforms.

There were 25 participating businesses in last year's Small Business Saturday event, offering everything from storewide sales, buy six get one free offer, discounted memberships to drink specials, 10% off sales, and free mimosas. Put on those shopping pants, and shop locally this year to find the many goodies being offered.

Carnahan likes to say, “It's just our community coming together. That's what it's all about. Our community and businesses joining together to celebrate our upcoming holiday season – and staying local.”

Jo Petteruti

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