November 26 is Small Business Saturday and holiday shoppers are encouraged to support the independent small businesses that are so essential to all communities. Here’s a guide to help you “shop little” this holiday season.
Major 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 independent small businesses that are so essential to all communities.
The event gained momentum a year later when Congress unanimously passed a resolution supporting the event. Elected leaders also joined forces with business groups, communities, business associations and others to form the Small Business Saturday Coalition. It has since become a Christmas tradition.
Here’s a guide to help you “shop little” 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 exclusive boxes “filled with products from manufacturers across the DMV” or buy “à la carte,” said Stacy Price, co-founder and chief executive officer.
Shop Made in DC, which also has a store at 1304 Wisconsin Ave. NW, works with hundreds of manufacturers throughout the region. It is also expanding with locations in Maryland and Virginia.
“Supporting local businesses is imperative to keeping businesses alive,” Price said. “What I am so proud of is that when you support our businesses, you are not just supporting a locally owned business, but you are supporting a locally owned business that supports close to 1,000 other businesses.”
Restaurants and other shops in georgetown will mark 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 “green” and “LGBTQ-owned.”
In southeast, a pop-up market featuring local black-owned businesses is scheduled to take place Saturday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at St. Thomas More Catholic School, 4265 Fourth St. SE. Traders can reserve a free spot in the marketplace by visiting Eventbrite.
the 18th annual Center Holiday Market will be open through December 23 on two blocks of F Street Northwest between Seventh and Ninth streets. (The market is closed on December 5). The market will feature dozens of small businesses and entrepreneurs from across the region. See a full rundown of exhibitors on the Downtown Holiday Market website.
“Holly Days” returns to DC Eastern Market for the sixth year from Saturday. It will feature “unique gifts from around the world sold by small local businesses,” both indoors and out. And on Saturday at 5:30 p.m., shoppers can watch the Capitol Hill Christmas tree lighting at Eastern Market Metro Park.
See a summary of hours on the Holly Days website, and check out a complete listing of Eastern Market businesses on the Eastern Market Main Street website.
Companies participating in the barracks row neighborhood will offer discounts and other special offers on Saturday, with some extending through the holiday season. Additionally, shoppers who shop at a participating Barracks Row business will receive a $5 gift card to use at another local business from Friday, November 25 through Sunday, November 27.
Find more information on the Barracks Row Main Street website.
and in DC Shaw neighborhood, Shaw Main Streets celebrates small business Saturday again with the city’s fifth annual market at O Holiday Celebration, near the intersection of Northwest O and Eighth streets from 4 to 7 pm Shoppers can enjoy candy, Free cookies and hot apple cider.
Shoppers can also get a little help before tackling that shopping list. From 11 am to 7 pm Saturday at the Shaw Main Streets marquee in City Market at O, you can pick up $20 in “Shawbucks” that can be used like 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 mark Small Business Saturday with discounts, free snacks and gifts with purchases.
Several pop-up markets will also be open, including at Port City Brewing Co. on Saturday and at 110 S. Union St. on Friday and Saturday. (An outdoor market will be held near the intersection of King and Strand streets.)
Shoppers are also encouraged to support black-owned businesses in the city 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 visit “Museum Store Sunday.” The National Museum of Women’s History and the Archaeological Museum of Alexandria are among several in the city (and region) that will participate. Find an interactive map of participating museums on the Museum Store Sunday website.
In City of Fairfax, shoppers can participate in the city’s fourth annual Elf on the Shelf scavenger hunt through December 5. It begins at 9 am Saturday at 10415 North St. Twenty-five leprechauns will be hiding inside participating businesses. Shoppers who locate five of them and make at least one purchase at a participating store can be entered into a drawing for a $50 gift card.
Learn more about the scavenger hunt and download a “passport” on the Fairfax City website.
In Loudoun CountyBear Chase Brewing Company in Bluemont will be holding an “Old World Christmas Market” on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
And a week later, on December 3, Old 690 Brewing in purcellville will host a Christmas market from noon to 5 p.m. It will feature “a variety of unique vendors selling pottery, candles, jewelry, decor, lotions, soaps, jellies, and more.”
A pop-up Christmas market featuring “unique, handmade gift items by local artisans” is scheduled for Saturday, December 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. downtown silver spring along Ellsworth Drive, between Georgia Avenue and Fenton Street.
Then, the following Sunday, December 4, shoppers can visit the Christmas Market and Holiday Craft Show at Veterans Plaza from noon to 4 p.m. There will be “more than 80 artisans, artisans…and other small local businesses.” .
Farmers markets are a good option to find something made by a small business. And in Montgomery Countyshoppers can celebrate Small Business Saturday by visiting vendors in the market at Veterans Plaza in downtown silver spring. It is open from 9 am to 1 pm Find a complete list of providers here.
Another farmers market in Montgomery County is in Kensington‘s Historic Train Station on Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm Shoppers who need to buy goods on Saturday can also find potential freebies such as olive oil, tea, cheese and baked goods.
And in GaithersburgIn the Kentlands neighborhood, shoppers can find a variety of delicious gift options during the Saturday farmers’ market, including spirits, juices, and coffees, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
ellicott city is bringing back its “OEC Bucks” promotion this year. Each has a $10 value and will be available beginning at 10 am during a Shop Small Saturday launch event in the Welcome Center. All Old Ellicott City merchants will accept OEC Bucks through December 31.
In Prince George’s Countythe city of Laurel has brought back its Small Business Passport Program. Shoppers can pick up a passport at the Municipal 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 pm A drawing will be held the following Thursday.
Additionally, shoppers can enjoy coffee and donuts from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at 378 Main St.
Various businesses in Hyattsville will offer discounts throughout November and December. And through December 31, parking will be free in city lots.
Hyattsville shoppers can also participate in a “Spot the Snowflake” scavenger hunt from Saturday through December 16. Shoppers who collect 10 stamps and return their passport can be entered into a raffle for a “gift basket” from local businesses.
a brewery in Prince George’s County, Robin Hill, will mark Small Business Saturday with an event featuring more than 50 vendors, as well as live music and food trucks. (Buyers also have the option of purchasing a bottle of wine for that special someone.)
Find a directory of small businesses in Prince George’s County on the county website.