Shop #SmallBizSuffolk on Saturday

Published 2:11 pm Wednesday, November 26, 2014

If fighting the crowds and traffic on Black Friday isn’t your cup of tea, consider a less stressful — and more rewarding — alternative.

Small Business Saturday, conceived by American Express a few years back as a way to boost holiday sales for independent retailers, is going to a whole new level in Suffolk this year. In partnership with the City of Suffolk Department of Economic Development and its ongoing Love Local, Buy Suffolk campaign, our newspaper is giving shoppers even more good reasons – 1,000 actually – to get out this Saturday and shop in Suffolk’s locally owned businesses.

Four lucky shoppers will win $250 shopping sprees at their favorite Suffolk businesses as part of the #SmallBizSuffolk promotion. To enter, simply visit a locally owned business in Suffolk on Saturday and snap a digital photo inside. Could be a selfie. Or a picture of the shopkeeper. Or your favorite gift selection or menu item. The more creative, the better. Then post the photo to the Suffolk News-Herald’s Facebook page or tweet it on Twitter using the hashtag #SmallBizSuffolk.


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You can enter one time from each business that you visit. If you’ve got the stamina to visit a dozen businesses, then you can enter 12 times. Post or tweet your photos by 11:59 p.m. Saturday to be eligible for the shopping sprees. Be sure to mention the name of the business and use the hashtag #SmallBizSuffolk.

On Monday morning, we will put all qualifying entries in a hat and draw four winners, who will each receive a $250 gift card to be spent at the business where they entered the contest.

While you’re not required to make a purchase to enter the contest, you’ll likely find the offerings of Suffolk merchants irresistible. Much is made about the nobility of shopping local, and indeed there are many benefits to the community and its economy when a dollar is spent in a locally owned business. But underappreciated are the benefits to the consumer.

In this gift-giving season, local merchants offer more interesting and creative selections than the major retailers, whose merchandise is mass-produced to be consumed by the masses. There’s much less hassle getting in and out of a local business, and the buying experience is much more personal. Chances are, you’ll be waited on by the owner or manager or their relatives. In Suffolk, where everybody knows everybody, shopping is as much a social experience as it is a commercial one.

At this writing, Saturday’s forecast calls for sunny skies and pleasant temperatures in the low 50s. If low-stress shopping appeals to you, let others deal with the madness that is Black Friday, enjoy a day of rest and good fellowship with your family and save your energy for Small Business Saturday. Should be a fun day in Suffolk.

STEVE STEWART is publisher of the Suffolk News-Herald. His email address is