Forget Black Friday— shop small this year and check off your gift list on Small Business Saturday. Local businesses across the state will join the national movement to show their gratitude for shoppers with special deals, giveaways and fun events on Nov. 24.
The nationwide event, which is sponsored by American Express, encourages shoppers to support brick and mortar shops in their community. According to the United States Small Business Administration, small businesses provide jobs for 48 percent of all employees in the private sector, making local shops and restaurants vital to the economy.
“Awareness towards the importance of small business to a local community should be yearlong not just one day,” says Bob Older, president and founder of the Delaware Small Business Chamber.
Here is your guide to where you can shop small and score some great deals in Delaware this year.
Celebrate local businesses at the Shops of Centreville with their second annual Winter Stroll. Get your Centreville passport stamped at six of the 13 participating shops between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. to enter your name for a $200 gift certificate from the shop of your choice. Participating shops include Wild Thyme, The Beehive, Found Antiques & Décor and Adorn Goods.
Throughout the event, keep an eye out for the strolling Santa and Christmas carolers, and don’t miss the ceremonial tree lighting at 4 p.m.
Every Small Business Saturday, Wild Birds Unlimited takes pride in showing gratitude for local shoppers.
“We believe that they deserve something in return for supporting us during the holiday season,” says owner Charles H. Shattuck IV. “We understand that the customer has many alternatives for shopping and hope they realize the benefits of shopping a small business.”
This year, the birding store is giving every costumer a free copy of “Knowing Your Feeder Birds.”
On Saturday, the Hockessin BookShelf is also celebrating Indies First, a campaign that encourages shoppers to patronize independent bookstores. Along with handing out swag and sweet treats, they will be holding raffles and sales on select items. In the spirit of Thanksgiving and the holiday season, the shop will also be donating books to children in need.
Many of Middletown’s one-of-a-kind shops will be taking part in the festivities. First and Little and Jewelapalooza boutiques are pairing up to give customers extended hours, free gifts, raffles and refreshments. Both shops will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. With every purchase of $75 and more, First and Little is giving costumers free leggings or joggers, while Jewelapalooza is adding a free scarf.
Get a free tee with every $30 purchase at Stubborn Soul and check out their clearance racks, discounted jewelry, refreshments, swag bags and more.
Shop Unika Customs for huge sales, door prizes and other goodies. When you purchase one “Paint your Pallet” workshop gift card, get $10 off your second gift certificate.
The Little Emporium, which is celebrating its second anniversary this November, is offering sales, raffle drawings and treats. Candy Connections, The Red Geranium Something Old, Something New, Saving Grace bookstore and Great Cars will be participating in the event as well.
Hit up Main Street for great deals and delicious food. Newark’s unique shops are home to the perfect gifts and stocking stuffers for the holidays. Some local favorites include Bloom, Grassroots, Frolic and Switch Skateboarding. And the best part? Parking is free all day.
To encourage local shopping, many Historic New Castle businesses are offering special discounts and rewards. Stop by the courthouse to pick up a passport and get stamps from participating shops including Café New Castle, Bridgewater Jewelers, Jessop’s Tavern and Scoops Ice Cream.
Fresh Faced Skin Care is offering 20 percent off select products and free moisturizer with all purchases of $50.
Enjoy live music at Mo’zart Gallery and Studio and discounts on select art.
Warm up at the Courthouse with free refreshments, and take advantage of complimentary gift-wrapping services while you meet Santa.
Begin your winter festivities with the Wilmington Jaycee’s 55th Annual Christmas Parade, held in conjunction with Downtown Wilmington’s Small Business Saturday celebration. The parade begins at 11 a.m. and features marching bands, floats, local celebrities and, of course, Santa Claus.
Shops and restaurants across the city will offer special discounts and giveaways to show their thanks for local shoppers. Al’s Sporting Goods will give $10 off any purchase of $60, and LaFate Gallery is offering half off limited-edition prints.
Grab some half-priced tacos and $3 Coronas at the Ernest & Scott Taproom or stop by 218 Grille for 25 percent off your order. Finish off your night at UDairy Creamery for a free $5 gift card with any purchase of $20.
Don’t forget to check out The Mill, a hip community workspace, which will feature vendors from small and local businesses.
Several independently owned shops in North Wilmington are coming together to create a loop for shoppers who love all things vintage. Each store participating in the loop will have special sales, promotions or refreshments.
The Vintage Pantry Co. will offer 25 percent off entire purchases and a free tote with every purchase while supplies last.
Swing by Joslynn’s French Home for sweet treats and savory cheese, as well as mimosas from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and wine from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Bellefonte Vintage will offer an array of refreshments and reduced prices on select gift baskets and sets.
At The Zeppelin & The Unicorn, shoppers can get 20 percent off store wide with a catch— they need to sing their favorite holiday song in order to secure the discount.
For extended hours, specials and more, visit Dover’s local shops and restaurants. Check out Loockerman Street for sidewalk sales, entertainment, kid activities, food trucks and a $100 American Express gift card raffle. Vendors include Hybrid bakery, Origami Owl, Big Joe’s Honey and Tea with Rachel.
The celebration starts at 11 a.m. with Santa’s arrival to Milford. From Small Business Saturday until Dec. 23, Santa will be in his house on Walnut St. to meet children and hear their Christmas wishes.
Pick up your free “Shop Small” tote bag at one of Milford’s unique shops and fill it with gifts for you and your loved ones. Then head over to Gallery 37 for free gift wrapping from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For the chance to win a Downtown Milford gift certificate, try popping a balloon for $1. If there’s a certificate inside, it can be used at one of Milford’s 15 participating stores.
Visit Second Street in historic Lewes for a hub of family businesses and restaurants. Check out Edie Bees for delicious confections, Kid’s Ketch for children toys, The Vintage Underground for vintage clothes and music, and Notting Hill Coffee to refuel.
Downtown Rehoboth will be buzzing with special deals and complementary refreshments for local shoppers. Swing by Avenue Apothecary and Spa for sales and giveaways, and sip on their signature cocktail while you shop. Art lovers should be sure to check out the Philip Morton Gallery for local artwork and the Kevin Fleming Gallery, which is running a 30 percent off sale on all prints and canvases of original photography.
Holiday shoppers have a chance to enter and win a raffle to win a stocking filled with more then $600 in gift cards and products, starting on Nov. 24. Kennett Square jewelry designer Alexis Kletjian brought together local businesses to benefit non-profit organization Young Moms. $5 raffle tickets can be purchased at participating shops.
The Christmas in Kennett shuttle begins on Small Business Saturday between downtown Kennett Square and Longwood Gardens. Shuttles will pick-up riders between 1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., and return from 3:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. In addition, The Brandywine Singers provide some holiday cheer from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. as they carol around town.