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Small Business Saturday – Holiday shopping can build community

By Melissa Wagoner

Most people are familiar with the term, “Black Friday,” in reference to the day after Thanksgiving – traditionally the biggest shopping day of the year. But in 2010 a new phrase was coined, “Small Business Saturday,” as a way of encouraging consumers to shop locally during the holiday season. And this year, according to many business owners, that message may be more important than ever before.

“With a lot of the focus this year being on the economy and worldly events, business owners and restaurateurs have been feeling the same ‘wallet punch’ that everyone is feeling,” Deanna Perkins, owner of Serenity Home and Spa Shoppe in downtown Silverton, said. “In an effort at keeping staff, ordering new products, maintaining food quality, etc., it’s even more important now to continue to support local businesses so we can all make it through these tough times.”

Many small businesses are owned by members of the communities in which they are based.

“These merchants are more invested in the quality of life, the welfare and the future of the community… more likely to contribute to community organizations, charities and the community in general,” Karolle Hughes, owner of Books-N-Time, LLC, said.  “Local merchants help to create the character of the town… are more likely than not to create more personal relationships with their customers than the ‘unknown’ person… or the big box stores.”

On Small Business weekend, retailers and restaurateurs in Silverton and Mount Angel are urging the community to take advantage of the goods and services offered right here. 

“It definitely makes a difference to families like ours when you shop locally,” Sarah Sampson, owner of The Wild Dandelion in Silverton, said. “It really causes a circle of giving and success… When we thrive, we can give back even more to Silverton.”

The Silverton-Mt. Angel Shop Hop – put on by the chambers of commerce in both towns – runs Nov. 25 – Dec. 13. 

“[I]t’s still a great way to visit those shops maybe you haven’t gone into in a while, or ever, and check out what they carry,” Silverton Chamber Executive Director Stacy Palmer explained. 

With a passport listing all participating businesses, contestants can visit each location and obtain a Shop Hop stamp. Once filled, the card can be turned in for a chance to win a prize during the drawing on Dec. 14. 

That’s not the only local shopping event. Also in the works is Mount Angel’s Christkindlmarkt – a combination of the annual HazelnutFest and a traditional German holiday market Nov. 25 – 27. 

“Downtown businesses and restaurants will be open along with vendors on the streets,” Scott Stokley, owner of Touch of Bavaria, Angel Mountain Christmas and Lou’s Kitchen, explained. The event promises “entertainment, Christmas tree lighting, Santa, biergarten, lots of lights and much more,” he said.

It brings the community together.

“[N]o matter where you shop or dine, you’re met with a friendly face from a neighbor or a former classmate,” Laurie Carter, yarn and gift shop owner of Apples to Oranges, said. “Old and new friends alike.”

Silverton-Mt. Angel Shop Hop

Gather stamps at participating locations Nov. 25 – Dec. 13. Completed passports can be entered into Dec. 14 prize drawing.
Passports at:
426 S. Water St., Silverton
5 N. Garfield St., Mount Angel

Mt. Angel Christkindlmarkt

HazelnutFest and German holiday market, downtown Mt. Angel. Retailers, restaurants, a biergarten and sidewalk vendors open.
Friday, Nov. 25, 5 – 9 p.m.; 6 p.m.  tree lighting
Saturday, Nov. 26, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 27, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

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