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Sholten Singer/The Herald-Dispatch Jessie Smith searches through items during Small Business Saturday last year at The Red Caboose in Heritage Station. Small Business Saturday will be observed this year on Saturday, Nov. 30.

HUNTINGTON — Tri-State area businesses are looking forward to a busy shopping day Saturday, scheduling many fun and entertaining events to make this year’s Small Business Saturday special.

Small Business Saturday, a promotion launched in 2010 to support local shopping, is held the Saturday after Thanksgiving — this year, Nov. 30.

This year’s celebration is the 10th Annual Small Business Saturday, marking a decade of support from American Express for local business owners. Since it started, consumers have reported spending an estimated $103 billion across all Small Business Saturdays combined.

“That’s $103 billion toward helping communities thrive, spent over just nine days alone,” said Tyson Compton, executive director of the Huntington Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Total reported spending among U.S. consumers who said they shopped at independent retailers and restaurants on the day reached a record high of an estimated $17.8 billion in 2018.

The Huntington Regional Chamber of Commerce, which advocates for more than 550 businesses in Cabell and Wayne counties, promotes not only Small Business Saturday, but also shopping locally throughout the holiday shopping season, according to Bill Bissett, president and CEO of the Huntington Regional Chamber.

Bissett said the chamber is sharing information about “shopping small” through its membership and its social media networks, as well as partnered advertisements.

“While our primary goal is to make cash registers ring at our locally owned businesses, it also informs the potential customer to keep this manner of shopping in mind as they check off items on their holiday shopping list,” Bissett said.

“I think we can all agree that retail shopping in the United States has changed immensely in the past decade,” Bissett added. “While our chamber includes members like Amazon and other large retailers, we also want to shine a light on some of our smaller members and what they can offer this holiday season. When you buy someone a gift, part of the fun is finding not only something unique, but also a gift that has a connection to where you call home. Shopping small lets you do just that.”

MacKenzie Morley, executive director for Downtown Huntington Partners, an association of businesses aimed at promoting the downtown area, said many downtown Huntington retailers will be offering discounts storewide, some have free gifts with a purchase and many will have extended shopping hours. Morley also serves on the My Huntington committee.

“Some of our restaurants will also be offering some incentives on drinks and tasting menus to keep you fueled up while you shop,” Morley said.

Morley owns Kenzington Alley, a women’s boutique, and MacK’s, a dedicated shoe store. Her two stores are on the same block directly across from Pullman Square.

“Small Business Saturday is always special for us in downtown Huntington. With the majority of our businesses locally owned, many are offering special deals and discounts to help drive business on that day,” she said.

Morley suggests checking social media pages for downtown businesses to see individual offers and hours of operation.

“All in all, our downtown community appreciates the support we receive year round, but we are definitely pulling out all the stops for Small Business Saturday,” she said.

The Huntington Area Convention & Visitors Bureau announced that as a member of the American Express Neighborhood Champion Program it will host “Shop & Savor at Heritage Station” on Saturday.

The Visitors Center at Heritage Station, 210 11th St., will open at 8 a.m. to welcome visitors and shoppers who can pick up a complimentary Shop Small Tote Bag (limited quantities), sign up for a chance to win a gift basket, and pick up a Heritage Station map. Businesses around the Station will offer one-day-only deals throughout the day.

Also, many Heritage Station businesses will expand their hours that day, including Birds of a Feather Boutique (10 a.m. to 7 p.m.), The Red Caboose (8 a.m. to 6 p.m.), The Haute Wick Social (10 a.m. to 7 p.m.), Taps at Heritage (1 p.m. to midnight), and Nomada Bakery (7 a.m. to 6 p.m.).

The Red Caboose will also host artisan pop-ups featuring painter Brandy Jefferys, photographer Jesse Thornton of Reflection in a Pool, polymer clay artist Ken Epperly, and local coffee roaster Hill Tree Roastery. Gift cards also will be available; Brown Dog Yoga will offer $120 gift cards for $100 and $50 gift cards for $40.

“Small Business Saturday is a great way for our Tri-State community to discover and support our local artisans,” said Raine Klover, manager of The Red Caboose. “We’re excited to showcase our pop-up artists who are all creating right here in Huntington.”

Shoppers can also fuel up while shopping at Nomada and Pax Cafe, and then take a break from shopping and enjoy an adult beverage at Sip or Taps. Sip also offers brunch from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. In addition, Taps and Sip will be a stop on the Santa Toy Crawl sponsored by Huntington Pride, which includes stops at 10 downtown bars where participants are asked to drop off unwrapped gifts suitable for children ages 6 months to 5 years old at each location. Cash donations will be accepted as well.

Compton says in order to drive shoppers to “shop small” this Saturday, the Huntington Area Convention & Visitors Bureau is participating in the American Express Neighborhood Champion Program to spotlight small businesses and the impact they have on communities.

“An average two-thirds of every dollar, approximately 67 cents, spent at a small business in the U.S. stays in that local community,” he said. “That means shopping small could help bring things like better schools, smoother roads and new jobs to neighborhoods.”

Lauren Kemp, president of the Old Central City Association, says when consumers are aware that 67 cents of each dollar spent at a small business stays in their local community, helping to keep Main Streets thriving, 75% said it inspires them to make shopping small an ongoing commitment, according to the 2019 Shop Small Consumer Impact Survey.

“On Small Business Saturday, the Central City Antiques District at 14th Street West in Huntington will be hosting an Antiques District Crawl from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 15 locally owned businesses,” Kemp said. “Enjoy a warm reception from local shopkeepers who have put out their best holiday gifts, vintage party attire and home decor. Attend the Crawl to find great, unique gifts that support local businesses and that don’t contribute to the holiday waste stream.”

Modern Daisy Boutique in the Progress Building in downtown Huntington is hosting a “Stocking Stuffer Event” starting at 11 a.m. on Small Business Saturday.

“We will have several options to help you complete your Christmas shopping,” the boutique said on its Facebook page. “Plus we’ll have Christmas cookies and drinks.”

Travis Lemon, co-owner of the health store Tulsi at The Market on 3rd Avenue, said Tulsi is excited to bring its customers another Small Business Saturday event with speakers from the local health and wellness community. The store will have special sales, demos and more.

A schedule of events includes breakfast with Tulsi from 9-10 a.m., health screenings with HIMG from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., chair massages by Little Moon Massage and Wellness from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., product demos from noon to 3 p.m., and juice tasting from 3 to 4 p.m.

Two health-minded practitioners will also speak to customers on Saturday. Dr. Skip will discuss benefits of juices at 2 p.m. and Dr. Jane Kurucz will speak at 4 p.m.

In its first year, the Holly Jolly Christmas Bazaar hosted by The Craft Shack from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Barboursville Community Center on Small Business Saturday will feature approximately 20 vendors as well as Santa for pictures with children.

Three Birds Floral in Milton is hosting a day-long sale in-store, raffles for live wreaths and swag decor, as well as homemade refreshments.

“Stock up on your holiday gifts made by local artisans, pick up a fresh beautiful unique wrapped bouquet, or just come and chat,” Three Birds Floral posted on its Facebook page. “Stop by to support your local business and help our community grow.”

City of Hurricane officials are urging Small Business Saturday shoppers to consider shopping and eating out at its locally owned businesses and restaurants. To make it fun, they are asking those shoppers to take to social media to “check-in” or tag businesses in posts as they visit them on Saturday to encourage others to do the same.

Merchants and consumers can learn more about Small Business Saturday and how to get involved by visiting ShopSmall.com.

Follow reporter Fred Pace at Facebook.com/FredPaceHD and via Twitter @FredPaceHD.

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