After Thanksgiving (and after you've had a day to relax), consider spending some quality time with your family celebrating "Small Business Saturday", (November 29th) supporting the local "mom and pop" shops in your neighborhood. Some NJ towns, such as Haddonfield and Red Bank, go all out on Small Business Saturday, involve the whole town, and really make the day something memorable. Don't forget to check out MommyPoppins.com's Fun Holiday Activity Guide, too.
When you "shop small" in the town of Westfield on November 29th, 68 percent of what you spend stays right in the community, supporting local organizations and services. There's pictures with Santa and Mrs.Claus at Lord & Taylor, a morning stroll through downtown Westfield with Mr. Claus "himself", the Harmonics will be singing downtown from 4-6 pm, and NJ Workshop for the Arts Brass Quartet will be performing throughout downtown from 1 to 3 p.m. Also, support local businesses and receive Shop Small® giveaways like tote bags, buttons and balloons. (New to the neighborhood include Bella Chic Boutique, New Havana, and Brownie Points Bakery.)
Red Bank proudly calls itself a "cool little town" (gotta love that). On the 29th, check out the cool town's family-friendly 12 Days of Christmas Scavenger Hunt, Free classic horse and wagon rides, pictures with Santa at The Galleria, live music on the sidewalks, and more!
In the quaint town of Chester, not only are many venues participating in Small Business Saturday, but on November 29th there are also family-friendly festivities. (Hey, you can't deny the holiday spirit's already in the air.) There's a Make Your Own Christmas Wreath workshop, Charles Dicken's Christmas Carolers serenading in the streets and shops, a visit from Santa at Alstede Farms (pictures encouraged), and more. All info online.
If you shop small in Hackettstown from November 29th to December 5th, when you make a purchase at the following Business Improvement District Businesses (BID), such as Selling Tales Bookstore, Philly Preztel Factory, and China Garden, you will receive a Shop Small Shopping Bag with an envelope inside containing offers and coupons. However, several lucky shoppers will also find $25 in BID BUCKS in their envelope.
Downtown Haddonfield loves Small Business Saturday so much they're making it a 3-day post-Thanksgiving weekend. First, the best news...Parking in Haddonfield is free from Black Friday to Christmas Day. Awesome. On November 29, you'll find DJ Frank Staff throughout the afternoon from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. at two locations – Shops at 116 and Kings Court. There will also be horse-drawn carriage rides from noon – 3 p.m. Downtown Haddonfield is also offering town-wide gift certificates at a discounted rate of 10% off during Small Business Weekend. Gift certificates can be purchased at the Haddonfield Information Center, or online. They can be used at stores and restaurants throughout Downtown Haddonfield. Gift certificates will continue to be discounted through Saturday, December 20. For shops participating in Small Business Saturday, click here.
Independent shops throughout The Garden State offering Small Business Saturday deals include:
Sugar Rush in Red Bank is offering $2 cupcakes all day, and will be giving some early bird customers Amex giveaways.
Twirl Toy Shop of Pennington has this deal: Customers can select a free family game (retail values of $12 to $15) with a $25 purchase (one gift per family). There will also be festive refreshments served.
Tiki Tiki Board Games in Woodbury will offer special (and fun!) deals for customers on Small Business Saturday.
Millville's Bogarts Book Store and Cafe has a book signing on Small Business Saturday. From 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Roy Carl Weiler Sr. and illustrator Barbara Estelle will be signing copies of Under The Teddy Bear.
Created by a Fort Lee mom, WiggleTot -- a changing pad cover and detachable vest combo (with toys) -- will offer discounts all weekend, especially on Small Business Saturday, on the company's Web site.
Launched by a Cherry Hill entrepreneur, Cara's Scrap N Stamp Art is also offering an online November 29th special--a 20 percent discount with the coupon code SMALLBIZ14.
With 4 locations in New Jersey, DoubleTake Consignment offers designer clothing for adults and kids and are running a sale and referral promotion all weekend: 20 percent off for you and a friend.
French Soul Knittery of Newark is offering online discounts off sale items, which include the handmade newborn hats.
The Beauty Vault of Fairview is offering customer discounts on all hair services and mommy/daughter pedicures, 2-for-1 deals.
Union's Nonie's Things shop has a variety of items for kids and even sells candy. There will be shop discounts for customers on Small Business Saturday.
Be Craftful of Fanwood has some special Small Business Saturday deals: 50% off select merchandise and furniture and 10% off purchases of $35 or more. (Free gift wrapping and gift tags.) The craft pit will be open from 12-2 pm and there will be 50% off one's sitting fee.
*American Express founded Small Business Saturday in 2010 to help small businesses get exposure during the holiday season, when they might be otherwise overlooked. With retailers buzzing around the holidays, it's important to support local small businesses that rely on their neighbors in order to continue prospering and building the local economy in New Jersey.