Nov. 30 marks the fourth annual Small Business Saturday, a day to celebrate local businesses by choosing to do your holiday shopping at independently-owned shops instead of at malls and big box stores. Show your support by shopping at the wonderful shops right here in Ellicottville.

From funky clothing, ski gear, and children’s toys, to fine wines, chocolate, and gourmet cheese, Ellicottville has something for everyone on your holiday shopping list, and you won’t have to brave the packed parking lots and long lines to find that perfect holiday gift.

The Small Business Saturday campaign was created in 2010 by American Express to encourage Americans to shop at small businesses on the day after the infamous “Black Friday” shopping day.

American Express, the Small Business Administration, many major organizations and thousands of communities across the country aim to improve on that share of the busiest shopping weekend of the year by helping to get the word out and providing marketing resources to small retailers.

There are many advantages to shopping small. Small business owners and employees tend to be more knowledgeable about their inventory and are often more customer service oriented than their counterparts in national chain stores. That means you won’t have to track down the right person in the right department to get some assistance, and that the staff is usually more willing and able to offer gift suggestions.

Tired of giving run-of-the-mill gifts? Local shops tend to offer a more unique selection of gifts that you can’t find just anywhere.

In addition, local businesses often buy their goods from local sources — meaning what you buy is local, too, and that local suppliers also benefit from the “shop small” effort.

Enjoy the festive streets of Ellicottville this time of year, and spend your holiday dollars locally. Shop Small Business Saturday on Nov. 30 and give unique, thoughtful gifts this season, all while supporting the shops that make Ellicottville the charming village it is!