Those would be the blue-and-white door mats already popping up at places making plans for the third annual shopping holiday, part of a national campaign founded by American Express. (Above, the Roots food truck made use of its mat last week. Photo courtesy of Ted Boyd.)
Sandwiched between the big-box mega deals of Black Friday, and the online shopping promotions of Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday promotes locally-run, independently-owned merchants that make up the backbone of many communities. (Read more about how local businesses are promoting themselves this retail season, and year round, in Wednesday’s ShopTalk section.)
Ted Boyd with Charlotte Center City Partners, who is director of Historic South End, counts more than 870 small businesses with 250 employees or less in the territory, comprised of one square mile. The highest concentration of businesses is along the Camden Road and South Boulevard areas.
Once again, organizers are looking to draw shoppers to the area with special events and promotions at stores. Shoppers can get a retail guide to South End businesses. Mayor Anthony Foxx signed a proclamation declaring the day Small Business Saturday in Charlotte, and has also filmed a video talking about the importance of local, small businesses. Charlotte City Councilman James Mitchell will read the proclamation at 10 a.m. at Atherton Mill Market.
And new this year is a 6 p.m. tree lighting, also at Atherton Mill, with Santa Claus, hot chocolate and music.
Look for information tables at Camden Road at East Park Avenue; at Atherton Mill Market, 2104 South Blvd.; Sedgefield Shopping Center’s Healthy Home Market, 2702 South Blvd., and at South End’s furniture district, off Griffith and South Tryon Street.
Boyd said don’t expect Saturday to be a one-day holiday in South End; merchants are using the day to kick off the area’s retail shopping season.
“Our campaign,” said Boyd, “is ‘Eat, drink, and be merry …and shop your sleigh bells off.”