Small Business Saturday coming up this weekend


Thanksgiving is here, and Friday will mark the unofficial start to the 2018 holiday shopping season.

Customers will wake early — or begin later today — to score deals at large stores.

But large stores can only offer so much, and that’s why the day that follows Black Friday has been dubbed Small Business Saturday.

Becky Schepman, executive director of Seymour Main Street, said the downtown is prepared for a big weekend of Christmas shopping with plenty to offer.

“We have jewelry, bakeries, clothing, decor, music instruments and more,” she said. “We also have businesses that offer a lot of spa services and the gift of wellness.”

That’s just to name a few of what can be found at the more than 25 retail stores in the downtown district.

Between 15 and 20 businesses will participate downtown and be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with some advertising extended hours.

“Some will open earlier and stay open later,” Schepman said. “Some have even talked about staying open until the parade of lights.”

The parade begins at 6 p.m. and is part of the Home for the Holidays event downtown.

For the official Small Business Saturday celebration, Seymour Main Street has a contest planned for shoppers who come downtown to shop.

There will be a Santa Selfie contest, where two winners will get a taste of what the downtown has to offer.

All participants have to do is snap a selfie at a business with the selfie stations. Items like beards, reindeer ears, glasses, Santa hats and more will be at various locations. Participants should upload the selfie to Facebook or Instagram, where they can tag Seymour Main Street’s official page and use two hashtags.

Each photo at a different location counts as an entry.

Participants should use the hashtag #SeymourMainStreetSantaSelfie and a separate hashtag with the name of the business where the photo was taken.

“So if you take a photo in TekHead, upload the photo, tag Seymour Main Street’s page, use the main street hashtag and then use hashtag TekHead,” Schepman said.

Two winners will be selected at 10 a.m. Monday and receive a tote bag full of items from downtown.

“There are gift cards, accessories and other items,” Schepman said while holding a bag stuffed full.

It’s important to shop small because when you do, you’re supporting the people behind a dream, Schepman said.

“When you shop at Seedlings and Company, you know that Ashley is a mom and this is her dream,” she said. “When you shop at Hearts Desire, you see Shannon and her mom there and you realize this is their life and what they do.”

Schepman said some studies show 80 percent of the money spent at local businesses goes back into the economy. Some also have shown small businesses support local organizations 250 percent more than big box stores.

“Those are ball clubs and people that need help for all their fundraisers,” Schepman said. “These are people giving back to our communities.”

Small businesses also offer one-of-a-kind items that can only be found locally, which makes it a unique and special gift.

“For me, I feel like it’s so special to get something downtown from a local business,” Schepman said. “Think about when you see the box under the tree with the Tiemeier’s sticker on it. You know it’s supporting a local business.”

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