You’ve probably heard of Small Business Saturday. Small Business Saturday, which was actually founded by American Express in 2010, draws attention to local small businesses who don’t necessarily have big advertising budgets but who are truly the backbone of our local economies. On the Small Business Saturday website, you can find participating local businesses, and register your American Express card to receive a $10 statement credit when you make a purchase of $10 or more at a participating business. Win-win!
But even if you don’t use American Express, there are many great reasons to shop with your local businesses on Small Business Saturday, and every other day of the year!
- Local businesses support your local economy! Money that is spent at local businesses tends to stay in your local economy.
- Local businesses support your local fundraisers…for your schools, your sports teams, and your silent auctions.
- Local businesses create local jobs.
I’m fortunate to live in a town that has a beautiful Green, with wonderful restaurants and unique boutique stores. I try to keep as many of my shopping dollars as I can right here in my town. At your local small business, you get a customer service and a level of caring that you don’t often get at a big box retailer.
Here are a few of my favorite local businesses!
Swank on Bank
If you’re one of my local friends, then you know how much I love this shop. I am not a “shopper” per se…I struggle with finding the right thing to wear, and knowing what to put together at times. Much of the time you can find me in very casual mode, but if I need something a little nicer for an event, or a business conference, or just a special occasion, you will find me heading to Swank on Bank. I’ve been shopping there for years, and not just because owner Lyn Van Buskirk carries unique styles that you don’t find at the mall, although I do really love that about her store! It’s also because of her customer service. She gets to know her customers…their names, their style, even their families. She cultivates relationships. She makes shopping in her store an experience. This is what keeps people going back…it’s what makes people into lifelong customers! Right now for Small Business Saturday and the rest of the weekend, Lyn is offering a PICK YOUR DISCOUNT SALE (from a jar on the counter) and free gift wrapping. She has all sorts of beautiful new styles in for the holidays!
Nutmeg Oil Company
This is one of my new favorite stores downtown! The Nutmeg Oil Company is a gourmet oil and vinegar store that just opened up in downtown New Milford. I love gourmet oils and vinegars! The difference between these and what you buy at the grocery store is like night and day. I’ve been buying my oil and vinegar online for years, so to have a local shop open up made me giddy with excitement. They also carry an assortment of gourmet foods! Not only is owner Maureen Kenny welcoming when you enter her store, but her prices are great too. I did a little comparison with the prices I was paying online from another oil and vinegar retailer, and on my favorite vinegar, Fig Balsamic, the Nutmeg Oil Company is almost $6 less expensive per bottle. That is a huge savings! And on the other oils and vinegars I buy, the savings is similar as well! If you need to put together a gift basket for the holidays, you’ll definitely want to check out the Nutmeg Oil Company! On Small Business Saturday, they’ll be passing out desserts made with olive oil after 2:00 pm. You can also shop online with the Nutmeg Oil Company. Read more about the Nutmeg Oil Company in this recent New Milford Spectrum article.
Villarina’s Pasta Shop
While I’m on the subject of food, let’s talk about Villarina’s. Villarina’s is not downtown on the Green, but is along Danbury Road in New Milford. I got hooked on this franchise gourmet pasta shop when I was being treated by a local chiropractor next door. Adam takes the time to get to know his customers. He’s friendly, makes great suggestions and has never steered us wrong yet. You could also put together a nice a gift basket in his shop. I’m obsessed with their Vodka Sauce (especially over the stuffed shells!), the drunken goat cheese and Adam’s homemade garlic bread, which is simply amazing!! If you’re in need of an easy and delicious meal, you should definitely stop in at Villarina’s (145A Danbury Road in New Milford). If you’re local, Adam is also offering a great giveaway, a pasta dinner for two! The giveaway includes 3 sheets of fresh pasta cut to order, 1 pint of sauce (fresh, frozen or in a jar), a loaf of fresh New York bread, and 2 small cannolis! The winner will receive a gift certificate to use in the New Milford Villarina’s, so if you win, you must be able to pick it up there!
Are you planning to shop on Small Business Saturday? What is your favorite local store, here or wherever you live?