Small business Saturday returns with holiday deals

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Black Friday may be over, but that doesn’t mean holiday shopping is over.

“Small Business Saturday” on November 25th – a day that typically occurs on Thanksgiving weekend, to celebrate and support small businesses and all they do for their communities.

Over 50 local retailers in Old Town Alexandria offer special deals, free gifts with purchase and plenty of in-store food.

Bianca Del Cid, owner of The White Lily Shoppe, said, in general, local small businesses have a large footprint, making them the cornerstone of a sustainable and resilient economy.

“I think it’s important because you’re supporting someone’s dream, someone’s goal, and you’re supporting entrepreneurship in your own community,” Del Cid said.

For other small business owners like Amy Rutherford of Red Barn Mercantile, buying neighborhood independent stores, as opposed to large retail chains, keeps the dollar in town.

In fact, you can probably go online and get it at a much more expensive price, but that’s the experience you’re not getting. You can’t find the trees, you can’t talk to the store owner who worked so hard. To get these things out and fix them,” Rutherford said.

Rutherford adds that Small Business Saturday is make-or-break for most mom-and-pop stores.

“We’re running on such thin edges that we need to be successful this year.”

The neighborhood surrounding the Old Town Alexandria community has been home to Barbie Frank, who is shopping in the neighborhood.

So when Small Business Saturday rolls around, she prefers to support local businesses when shopping for gifts, citing her community as a primary motivation.

“One of the places I always go to is 10,000 Villages. They import goods from all over Africa and other women who are looking for a living, so that’s one of my favorites. It started here in Alexandria and is now Pacers Running Store. Shops all over the place and a few other shops and then King’s. “Having lunch at one of the local restaurants down the street,” Frank said.

For Rutherford and Del Cid, running a small local business isn’t just about their bottom line.

“We also give back to the community through nonprofits and three times more activities than a big box store does,” Rutherford said.

“We actually give back 10% of each of our gift boxes, which we support two organizations that support women and children,” Del Cid said.

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