James Rada, Jr.

With Thanksgiving dinner behind them, many people will set out that holiday weekend to begin their Christmas shopping. Don’t forget the local businesses when looking for gifts. They often offer unique gifts for the hard-to-shop-for names on your list. That Saturday after Thanksgiving, November 26, will also be Small Business Saturday. It is a national event, sponsored by American Express, where mom-and-pop shops across the country encourage residents in their communities to “Shop Small.” The event began in 2010; last year, American Express reported that 95 million people went out to shop at local businesses on Small Business Saturday.

This will be the third year that the Thurmont business community has participated in the event.

“It’s a great tool for the businesses to use, and more and more are participating every year,” said Thurmont Main Street Manager Vickie Grinder.

Her office will be offering businesses “Shop Small” bags and stickers. She will also be sending out an offer to Thurmont businesses to have their business promoted on the Thurmont Main Street website for the week of the Small Business Saturday.

Grinder said that last year several businesses offered the bags and stickers to shoppers and used the “Shop Small” signage. All of these promotional items are free and available from American Express or the Main Street office. In addition, a handful of businesses also took the opportunity to advertise themselves via the web.

“More and more businesses are using it, and, hopefully, it will continue to grow,” Grinder said.

In Thurmont, the week of Small Business Saturday culminates with the popular Christmas in Thurmont event, which also brings a lot of shoppers into local businesses.

For more information about Small Business Saturday, you can call 240-626-9980 or visit the website at www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/shop-small.

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