Small Business Saturday is November 29

By Alicia Dziak

November 29 marks the fifth 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.

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

The perks of shopping local are many. Small business owners and employees tend to be more knowledgeable about their inventory and are often more accessible and more customer-focused. Local shops also tend to offer a more unique selection of gifts and personalized items. And the bonus “chain reaction”— local businesses often buy their goods from local sources – means what you buy often is local too, so local suppliers also benefit from the “shop small” effort.

Show your support by shopping at the wonderful shops right here in Ellicottville or in other neighboring towns.

From fun clothing, children’s toys and the latest in ski gear, to fine wines, chocolate and gourmet cheese, Ellicottville has something for everyone on your holiday shopping list.

Shoppers will not be disappointed as they stroll the streets of Ellicottville on Nov. 29. Most shops open at 10 a.m. and will offer loads of great deals. Don’t forget to check out all the festively decorated windows along the way as you search for the perfect finds for everyone on your list.

And, be sure to take a picture of your favorite and upload it to the Ellicottville Chamber’s Facebook or Twitter page. You could win four tickets to a concert during the Summer Music Festival!

While you’re shopping, you’ll also be able to spend the day enjoying other village activities during the annual Christmas in Ellicottville weekend, featuring fire truck rides with Santa, horse and wagon rides, interactive children’s activities, reindeer visits and more!

Head south from Ellicottville to Salamanca and enjoy great deals at the gift shops and jewelers, as well as in gaming, entertainment and more. Visit the Salamanca Chamber of Commerce’s web site (www.salamancachamber.org) before you head out to see where the savings are and to download coupons for extra special deals.

Just a short drive away, the village of Allegany also will be getting ready for the season. On Saturday, Nov. 29, spend the day browsing the shops for fun finds and stay for Christmas in Allegany, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The event, which takes place at Santa’s House (next to the Municipal Building) will feature visits from Santa, Mrs. Claus and the elves. Guests will receive a gift, as well as hot cocoa and cookies.

Head north from Ellicottville to Springville, where village merchants will be hosting the annual Very Merry Main Street, both Friday and Saturday, at the shops between the traffic lights (Franklin and Buffalo Streets) in the heart of the village. Shoppers can pick up a special event card from participating shops, collect stamps from each business, and enter to win great cash prizes and even an iPad 4.

Springville Health and Fitness (located on Main Street above Papa Jake’s) will be hosting a holiday craft show, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. The event will feature several vendors offering a variety of jewelry, hand knit items, skin care products and more. Coffee and healthy snacks also will be available.

In addition, the Springville Chamber of Commerce will conduct a window decorating contest for village businesses, announcing the winner at the annual tree lighting ceremony, which takes place at 4 p.m. on Saturday on Main and Mechanic Streets. The Chamber will also present “Light the Lofts,” where the second floor businesses and residences along Main Street will be illuminated for the season.

From Springville, continue north up Route 219 to the hoppin’ village of Hamburg, where you’ll find lots of specialty shops offering unique items. Hamburg is hosting its alternative to Small Business Saturday on Black Friday, Nov. 28, with “Green Friday,” complete with a free trolley to get you around quickly and easily. Green Friday will not only feature great deals at the merchants, but also prizes, music and entertainment throughout the day. Stop back Saturday for the annual Santa Claus parade from 11 a.m. to noon, along Main and Buffalo Streets.

There are plenty of other nearby communities that boast specialty shops with fabulous merchandise. Visit Randolph, Little Valley, Olean, Arcade and every place in between for sweet deals on Nov. 29 and every day throughout the holiday season.