For many, Thanksgiving means food, family and fun. For others, it means shopping, deals and discounts. This year, the Mercer Chamber of Commerce and Harrodsburg First have several activities planned for Small Business Saturday, on Saturday, Nov. 27, to direct shoppers away from the box stores and online retailers to local businesses.
Shop Small Saturday was introduced by American Express in 2010 to help merchants gain exposure and inspire consumers to buy local. For over a decade, the Mercer Chamber of Commerce has championed the cause on a local level and it has become an important day for shop owners.
“Small business Saturday means a lot to so many people in so many different ways,” said Wild Magnolia boutique owner Shelby Burchett. “For me, it gives me a chance to provide our local community with so many different goods. I’m not Walmart, where one sale doesn’t mean anything. One sale to me and other business owners means the world. It means we can pay a bill, buy groceries, put gas in our car.”
According to the website Localshops1.com, 70 cents of every dollar spent in a local business stays in the community, where less than 40 cents stays local from national corporations. Shopping local supports the community as a whole. Many of the local stores go on to donate to schools, churches and non-profits.
Stores have been revving up to prepare for the shopping day (see page 5A for a listing of stores participating). Including Burchett, who started Wild Magnolia online in 2018 and opened her storefront in 2020 midst the pandemic.
“With shipping times and manufacturing delays, I have started to prepare early to insure I have a good selection of inventory. I always like to offer door buster deals and do giveaways during this time,” said Burchett.
New to this year’s Small Business Saturday is Harrodsburg First’s Shop Small Scavenger Hunt that kicks off Saturday and runs through their Christmas on Main event, Friday, Dec. 3, from 5-8 p.m. Shops in the downtown district will have extended hours that night along with an appearance from Santa Claus in Olde Town Park on Main Street.
Those participating in the hunt can scan a QR code (see page 5A) and log in their completed tasks, which include shopping and eating locally and participating in the Chamber’s selfie stations.
All those who participate in the scavenger hunt and selfie stations, while tagging the organizations and using the hashtags #MCSBS, will be eligible for drawings from each organization.
Mercer Chamber of Commerce Small Business Saturday selfie stations will be located at: Feeders Pet Supply, Black Watch Alpacas, Shaker Village, Harrod’s Perk and Chill, Kentucky Prime Realty, Driscoll Tax Service, Olde Towne Park, Old Fort Harrod State Park and Bright Leaf Gold Resort.
So while people look forward to finding unique local wares, Burchett looks forward to seeing all the people.
“I love small business Saturday so much because it gives me a chance to see and catch up with people who don’t get to come in the store much. I love to see the excitement on everyone’s faces,” she said.
For additional information, visit the Mercer Chamber’s website, mercerchamber.com or follow their Facebook page @mercerchamberofcommerce. Visit Harrodsburg First’s website downtownharrodsburg.com or follow their Facebook page @HarrodsburgFirst.