November 26 is Small Business Saturday and holiday shoppers are encouraged to support the small, independent businesses that are so important to every community. Here’s a guide to help you retail this holiday season.
Big retailers get much of the attention on Black Friday, but the second day of the holiday shopping season is all about smaller businesses.
November 26 is Small Business Saturday.
American Express launched the event during the 2010 recession, encouraging holiday shoppers to support the small, independent businesses that are so important in every community.
The event gained momentum a year later when Congress unanimously passed a resolution supporting the event. Elected leaders also joined forces with trade groups, communities, business associations and others to form the Small Business Saturday Coalition. It has since become a holiday tradition.
Here’s a guide to help you retail this holiday season.
Shop Made in DC, which has several locations in the area, will open a pop-up gift box store in Georgetown, at 2920 M St. NW, throughout December. Shoppers can purchase signature boxes “filled with merchandise from manufacturers from across the DMV” or shop “a la carte,” according to Stacey Price, co-founder and CEO.
Shop Made in DC — which also has a storefront at 1304 Wisconsin Ave. NW — works with hundreds of merchants in the region. It is soon expanding with locations in Maryland and Virginia.
“Supporting local businesses is imperative to keeping businesses alive,” Price said. “What makes me so proud is that when you support our business, you’re not only supporting a local business, you’re supporting a local business that supports nearly 1,000 other businesses.”
Restaurants and other shops in Georgetown will be celebrating Small Business Saturday with some special promotions. Find more information on the Georgetown Business Improvement District website.
Another good online resource for finding DC merchants is the Shop in the District website. It features a store directory that allows shoppers to filter by neighborhood and other categories, such as “eco-friendly” and “LGBTQ-owned.”
in Southeast, a pop-up market featuring local black-owned businesses, is set for 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday at St. Thomas More, 4265 Fourth St. SE. Traders can reserve a free market place by visiting Eventbrite.
18 year old In the center The holiday market runs through December 23 on two blocks of F Street Northwest between Seventh and Ninth streets. (The market is closed Dec. 5.) The market will feature dozens of small businesses and entrepreneurs from across the region. See a complete list of exhibitors on the Downtown Holiday Market website.
“Holly Days” returns to DC Eastern Market for the sixth year since Saturday. It will feature “unique gifts from around the world sold by local small businesses,” both indoors and outdoors. And on Saturday at 5:30 p.m., shoppers can see the Christmas tree lighting on Capitol Hill at the Eastern Market Subway.
See a list of hours on the Holly Days website and check out a complete list of Eastern Market businesses on the Eastern Market Main Street website.
The participating companies in Barrack order neighborhood will offer discounts and other promotions on Saturday, and some will continue throughout the holiday season. In addition, shoppers who purchase from a participating Barracks Row business will receive a $5 gift card to use at another local business from Friday, November 25th through Sunday, November 27th.
Find more information on the Barracks Row Main Street website.
And in DC A show neighborhood, Shaw Main Streets once again celebrates Small Business Saturday with the fifth annual O Holiday Celebration City Market, near the intersection of O and Eighth streets Northwest from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. Shoppers can enjoy free candy, cookies and hot apple cider.
Shoppers can also get a little help before tackling that shopping list. From 11am to 7pm on Saturday from Shaw’s Main Street marquee at City Market in O, they can pick up $20 in “Shawbucks” that can be used as cash at any participating business that day only. See a list of participating retailers on the Shaw Main Streets website.
Dozens of merchants in Alexandria will celebrate Small Business Saturday with discounts, free snacks and free gifts with purchases.
A number of pop-up markets will also be open, including at Port City Brewing Co. on Saturday and at 110 S. Union St. Friday and Saturday. (An outdoor market will be held near the intersection of King and Strand streets.)
Shoppers are also encouraged to support the city’s black-owned businesses on Small Business Saturday as well as Plaid Friday.
Find more information on the Visit Alexandria website.
Shoppers who couldn’t find the perfect gift on Saturday can check out ‘Museum Shop on Sunday’. The National Women’s History Museum and the Alexandria Archaeological Museum are among several in the city (and region) that will take part. Find an interactive map of participating museums on the Museum Store Sunday website.
in Fairfax City, shoppers can participate in the city’s fourth annual Elf on the Shelf scavenger hunt through December 5. It starts at 9 a.m. Saturday at 10415 North St. Twenty-five elves will be hidden in participating businesses. Shoppers who find five of them and make at least one purchase at a participating business can be entered into a drawing for a $50 gift card.
Learn more about the scavenger hunt and download a “passport” from the Fairfax City website.
in Loudoun CountyBear Chase Brewing Company at Bluemont will hold the “Old World Christmas Bazaar” on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
And one week later, on December 3rd, Old 690 Brewing in Purcellville will host a holiday market from noon to 5 p.m. It will feature “a variety of unique vendors selling pottery, candles, jewelry, decor, lotions, soaps, jellies and much more.”
A pop-up holiday market featuring “unique and handmade gift items from local artisans” is set for Saturday, December 3, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. downtown Silver Spring on Ellsworth Drive, between Georgia Avenue and Fenton Street.
Then, next Sunday, Dec. 4, shoppers can check out the Christmas Bazaar and Holiday Craft Show at Veterans Plaza from noon to 4 p.m. There will be “over 80 artisans, crafters … and other local small businesses.”
Farmers markets are a good option for finding something made by a small business. And in Montgomery Countyshoppers can celebrate Small Business Saturday by checking out vendors at the downtown Veterans Plaza Market Silver Spring. Open from 9am to 1pm. Find a full list of vendors here.
Another farmer’s market in Montgomery County is at KensingtonThe historic train station on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Shoppers who need to pick up produce on Saturday can also find potential gifts, such as olive oil, tea, cheese and baked goods.
And in GaithersburgIn the Kentlands district, shoppers can find a range of tasty gift options during the Saturday Farmers’ Market — including spirits, juices and coffee — from 9am to 1pm
Ellicott City is bringing back its “OEC Bucks” promotion this year. They cost $10 each and will be available starting at 10 a.m. during Saturday’s inaugural Shop Small event in the Welcome Center. All merchants in Old Ellicott City will accept OEC Bucks until December 31st.
in Prince George’s Countycity Laurel brought back the small business passport program. Shoppers can pick up a passport at the Community Center, collect six stamps from six different participating businesses and be eligible to win a prize basket. Passports must be returned by Monday at 4:00 p.m. The draw will take place next Thursday.
In addition, shoppers can enjoy coffee and donuts from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at 378 Main St.
Several companies in Hyattsville will offer discounts in November and December. Until December 31, parking in city lots will be free.
Shoppers in Hyattsville can also participate in a “Find the Snowflake” scavenger hunt Saturday through December 16. Shoppers who receive 10 stamps and return their passport can enter a raffle for a “gift basket of goodies” from local businesses.
Robin Hill Brewery in Prince George’s County will celebrate Small Business Saturday with an event featuring over 50 vendors, as well as live music and food trucks. (Shoppers also have the option of picking up a bottle of wine for that special someone.)
Find a Prince George’s County small business directory on the county’s website.