While Black Friday has morphed from a one-day shopping frenzy for doorbusters into lengthy sales that seemingly start as soon as the last piece of Halloween candy is handed out, it is still expected to be the busiest shopping day of the five-day Thanksgiving weekend. The National Retail Federation anticipates about 116 million will head to the stores to take advantage of deals and begin their holiday shopping.

The second-busiest shopping day of the weekend, however, will be Saturday, and 78 percent of the estimated 67 million consumers in stores will be shopping specifically to support small, local businesses on what has become known as Small Business Saturday.


An effort of the National Federation of Independent Business and American Express, Small Business Saturday encourages shoppers to patronize the many brick-and-mortar, locally owned shops and restaurants that dot Carroll County’s main streets.

Last year, 108 million shoppers spent $12.9 billion at small businesses, according to the 2017 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey.

Small Business Saturday Passport encourages Carroll County customers to shop small, stay local

A Small Business Saturday Shopping Passport filled with destinations of 172 Carroll County businesses will reward residents for shopping locally this holiday season.

There are plenty of reasons to support local businesses on Saturday — and every other day of the year, too. Doing your shopping at small, local shores means more of the money you spend ends up in the local community, and helps stimulate the economy there.

“When you shop small, someone actually does a happy dance, because we’re directly impacted by each sale,” Vanessa Newman, owner of the Manchester artisan shop Created and Company, told us.

The latest Small Business Economic Impact Study from American Express estimates two-thirds of every dollars spend at a small business stays in the community. Buying local and supporting small businesses means they can, in turn, create new jobs and hire local workers.

Many of these merchants also offer goods or experiences you can’t find at Walmart or on Amazon.com.

“There’s someone on each of our gift lists who seems impossible to buy for,” Westminster Main Street Manager Sandra Anderson said. “Shopping local will help you find that personal, unique, and memorable gift.”

If these reasons aren’t incentive enough, 172 businesses in communities across Carroll County have joined forces this year to once again offer the Small Business Saturday Passport, providing an additional reason to check out several local shops.

Beginning on Saturday, Nov. 24, and running through the following Sunday, Dec. 2, shoppers can pick up the passport from one of the participating businesses. For each participating store or restaurant they patronize, shoppers can get their passport stamped. Once filled with eight stamps, the passports can be turned in at any Carroll County Public Library branch or one of the eight town halls by Dec. 5. Twenty participants will be chosen to receive a $50 gift certificate good at any one of the participating businesses.

It’s a nice way to do your holiday shopping for everyone on your list, and maybe get a little something for yourself too, all the while supporting the local economy.