Eighteen locally owned businesses in the historic Gilbert District are making it worthwhile to shop small during the traditional post-Thanksgiving shopping frenzy.
The Gilbert District will be participating for the first time in the national Shop Small Saturday campaign Nov. 29 with an all-day event highlighting the district’s 100th anniversary. Shoppers will be encouraged to patronize small and local businesses.
“The shops here are really unique and have things you can’t get anywhere else,” said Kathleen DeLand-Peterson, the neighborhood champion and event organizer. “There is a place for Internet shopping, but nothing can replace going into a store and looking, and feeling, and touching and seeing the item you want to purchase.”
Shop Small Saturday was created in 2010 by American Express, but businesses do not have to accept American Express to participate in a neighborhood event. In 2012, neighborhoods across the country were encouraged to host events to bring together their communities and encourage local shopping.
At least 18 businesses from the district, which encompasses the four city blocks on the corners of Broadway and Holladay Drive, will distribute 100 collectible cards during their regular business hours. All the cards will contain information directing people to an online blog to learn more about the Gilbert District.
The district has a “rich and colorful history that we would like to share with the community,” DeLand-Peterson said, adding, “What would be better than to have a memento of the 100th year (of the district’s existence) and the businesses that were here on that 100th year?”
Cards for each corresponding business will have specific store information and also make the holder eligible for a later promotion, such as a discount, special or gift. Card holders are encouraged to keep their cards for future savings.
DeLand-Peterson said businesses can decide what promotions they want to tie to the card at a later date, when they have slow periods.
She also hopes the event will encourage locals to visit businesses they haven’t visited before. Several shops’ prices are comparable to their Portland equivalents, DeLand-Peterson said.
“It’s just a really fun event to get the community involved,” she added.
In addition to handing out cards for future use, several businesses also will hold store promotions on Nov. 29. For instance, Beach Books will offer 10 percent off all store merchandise from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Guido and Vito’s Italian Cuisine is doing 20 percent off appetizers; and Seaside Yoga, Shear Pleasures Salon & Spa and Hold Fast Tattoo Company are offering discounted gift certificates.
If the event goes well this year, DeLand-Peterson hopes the district will participate in the future.
For more information, visit The Historic Gilbert District Facebook page or historicgilbertdistrict.com.