Shop Small Saturday expands window of opportunity
Local businesses are preparing for Shop Small Saturday, and this year, consumers could get in on an extra incentive to give their dollars to local merchants.
Bill Chernock, executive director of the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce, said Thursday that the main sponsor of the event, Main Street Gardnerville, and the Chamber as its co-sponsor are expecting between 30 and 40 retailers to take part in Shop Small Saturday, on Nov. 24, the Saturday after Thanksgiving when holiday shopping kicks into gear for most businesses. Business owners from Genoa, Minden and Gardnerville once again will offer deals and invite shoppers to come by, and the owner of FastFrame from Carson City has decided to get involved, too, Chernock said.
“It increases the awareness of the importance of the local independent, mom-and-pop, brick-and-mortar stores,” he said. “It gets (customers) through the door, and it gets them to places where they’d never go and raises some top-of-mind awareness as we head into the shopping season.”
Word is spreading about the event from year to year, which began back in 2010. Most types of retailers and some restaurants are getting involved somehow, and those who might not sell traditional products, such as insurance agents, will go out and purchase gift baskets from particular merchants, he said.
This year’s new incentive is a passport type of program whereby customers pick up a document upon arriving at the first participating retailer on Nov. 24 and they can get it checked off at each store taking part in Shop Small Saturday. At the end of the day, customers can turn their passports in and could be eligible to receive a grand prize of gift certificates contributed by each of the retailers. The more stores they visit throughout the day, the more chances they will have earned to win the drawing. Chernock said the sponsors also are encouraging the stores themselves to hold their own drawings for prizes.
“Some people take it very seriously,” he said.
Overall, it’s meant to help keep local dollars in the local economy, saying on average, about 72 cents of every dollar spent at a small business stays in the community, where as only about 38 cents of every dollar spent at a national retailer remains so.
For more information, call Main Street Gardnerville at 775-782-8027 or the Carson Valley Chamber at 775-782-8144.