Carson Valley residents encouraged to ditch the mall and Shop Small this holiday season |

Carson Valley residents encouraged to ditch the mall and Shop Small this holiday season

by Rachel Spacek
Chocolate Shoppe owner Lynn Falcone shows a tray of Christmas truffles Saturday.
Brad Coman |

Hundreds of Carson Valley residents will be flooding stores this week to take advantage of the day many retail workers dread, Black Friday. However shoppers are given an additional opportunity to score bargains this season, Small Business Saturday follows Black Friday and residents are encouraged to support their valley friends’ and neighbors’ businesses by shopping local.

According to the National Retail Federation, retail sales in November and December increase around 3.6 percent, last year the average spending per person during the holiday season was more than $800. According to Main Street Gardnerville, studies show if holiday spending is shifted toward locally owned businesses instead of national chains, it would generate a greater economic benefit to local communities.

“We’re asking community residents to shift (their) purchases of food, greeting cards, gifts, flowers and other holiday items to your friends and neighbors at locally-owned businesses,” said Debbi Lehr, executive director of Main Street Gardnerville. “Whether shopping at a physical location or online, consider shopping at local businesses first.”

Main Street Gardnerville and the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce are hosting the Carson Valley Small Business on Saturday. Twenty-five businesses are participating in the event and are offering deals to shoppers.

East Fork Gallery is one of the participants and is offering a free greeting card to shoppers. They also are giving away an Artist’s Gift Basket to shoppers who enter the drawing.

“It is a good opportunity for the community and to keep people in the Valley,” said East Fork Gallery member Alice Norton. “It is a good opportunity for us to meet people and promote our business.”

Norton said people think she just sells paintings, but she wants to encourage shoppers to stop by her business and see she also sells other gifts and Christmas ornaments.

In addition to receiving discounts at local businesses, small business shoppers will also be able to participate in a “Christmas Tree Bingo” contest to win a Parrot Bebop Drone. Shoppers can pick up a bingo card at the business locations participating and once they get five in a row they receive one entry into the contest. The “Christmas Tree Bingo” cards are full with all of the merchants participating, however businesses can still participate in the event and can pick up “Shop Small” merchandise at the Main Street Gardnerville office.

Chocolate Shoppe is another Gardnerville business participating in the “Shop Small” event and is preparing for a busy day.

“It is a great day to support local businesses and it is a great day for small towns like Minden and Gardnerville,” said Lynn Falcone, one of the operators of Chocolate Shoppe.

Falcone said the day is an opportunity for residents to take advantage of local deals. The Chocolate Shoppe is will be offering a buy one get one 50 percent off deal and free samples.

“We are very blessed to be a part of such a great and supportive community,” said Falcone.

Other businesses participating include: Battle Born Wines, Brown Bear Designs, Coffee on Main, Country Carousel, Douglas County Historical Society/CV Museum, DST Coffee, East Fork Gallery, El Aguila Real Restaurant, Especially for You, FISH Thrift Store, Fresh Ideas, Fun and Feng Shui Creative Workshop, gadZooks!, Heartstrings, Joyce’s Fine Jewelry, The Pink House, Lone Tree Frame Company, Polka Dots, Princess House-Independent Consultant, Re:Style. Sierra Chef LLC, Sweet Repeats, This and That Marketplace, Wildtree-Independent Consultant.