Shopping Local Pays Back on Saturday


By Jennifer Erickson | LB Indy

North Menswear manager Drew Meseck with a yellow Luke fedora, $80.
North Menswear manager Drew Meseck with a yellow Luke fedora, $80.

Small Business Saturday is the local merchants’ response to Black Friday. Where the latter lures residents out to the big box stores and malls in the wee hours of the morning after Thanksgiving to be the first in line for discounts, the former reminds locals of the value of shopping at a leisurely pace in their own backyard.

“It’s a great way to give back to local stores during the holiday rush,” said Chelsie Frieze, buyer for Sunny Days, a women’s clothing boutique at 269 Forest Avenue. In the spirit of Small Business Saturday, their customers who buy one full-price item on Saturday can get a second item of equal or lesser value for half price, she said.

“SBS is all about community,” said Kavita Reddy, chair of the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce’s newly formed retail task force. “It is a day to come and discover and support all the great little independent businesses that add to Laguna’s unique character.”

The Chamber sent a notice to members urging them to participate by offering special deals, promotions, refreshments and entertainment, or any combination thereof, to lure customers in for the occasion. And in partnering up with American Express to be a “neighborhood champion” for Small Business Saturday, they received “ShopSmall” promotional items such as totes, welcome mats and buttons to distribute to participating member businesses, said Reddy, who spearheaded the effort to get merchants involved.

Pete Surprenant, owner of North Menswear on Glenneyre Street, opted in. He’ll give shoppers 10 percent off their purchase and treat them to coffee and donuts just for stopping in, he said. And Bushard’s Pharmacy will hand out tote bags and free samples to customers, as well as offering a 10 percent discount on a purchase of $100 or more.

Reddy also leads by example. As the owner of the Buy Hand boutique, selling items handmade in the U.S., she organized a Sleepy Hollow Small Business Saturday block party for shops on the inland side of Coast Highway between Legion Street and Cleo Street from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., with coverage from local radio station KX 93.5 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Buy Hand, Personalitees, Mystic Arts, Cherry Moon, Laguna Tattoo and Faux Paw Productions at Air Gallery will all participate with goodies and drinks and special promotions. For example, Buy Hand will serve homemade chocolate hearts and mini-cupcakes in addition to rewarding customers with a free beaded necklace and a 40 percent off section. Personalitees will give away t-shirts, Laguna Tattoo will hand out tattoo art prints, and Faux Paw at Air will offer shoppers 20 percent off from 2 to 4 p.m.

Buy Hand boutique owner Kavita Reddy helps organize this weekend’s promotion to entice shoppers to patronize local merchants.
Buy Hand boutique owner Kavita Reddy helps organize this weekend’s promotion to entice shoppers to patronize local merchants.

Since its start five years ago, Small Business Saturday is gaining traction, says a report by the National Federation of Independent Business and American Express. Half of U.S. consumers say they are aware of the event, and, among those, 82 percent plan to patronize a small, independently-owned retailer or restaurant on Nov. 29, while 77 percent said the event makes them want to shop small all year long, the report says.

Leading the campaign for Small Business Saturday, American Express offers cardholders who register their cards online beforehand a special perk. They’ll receive a $10 statement credit for each in-store transaction of $10 or more at a qualifying small business, for up to three transactions per registered credit card.

“I think shopping at local businesses is about strengthening community,” said Reddy. “When you buy something from your local business, your local neighborhood receives taxes. The local merchant is more likely to use local suppliers who in turn pay local taxes, hire local people. It’s a multiplier effect that is good for the locality,” said Reddy.




List of participating Chamber of Commerce members:

  • Art Hotel – 10% off regular rates just mention SBS
  • Belo Blow Dry Bar – 10% off and great refreshments
  • Bushards Pharmacy – 10% off $100+ and free cosmetic samples
  • Buy Hand – free necklace with purchase and a great sale and cupcakes!
  • Diane and Michael Gallery – 20% off or better Black Friday thru Cyber Monday
  • European Optical – 20% off
  • Laguna Beach Acupuncture – 10% off prepaid series of 3 treatments
  • Laguna Beach Legal Document – 10% off purchases over $100
  • Laguna Canyon Spa – $50 for 60 min Renewal massage & $50 for 50 min classic facial
  • Law Office of Eugene C. Gratz – Free legal consultation
  • Naked Dog Bistro – 20% off on Friday, Saturday, Sunday
  • North Menswear – 10% off
  • Once & Again – 10% off select vintage furniture
  • Ritual Juice Box – Buy 4 juices get 1 free + entry into great raffle
  • Seaside Soles – 10% off
  • Spice Merchant – $5 off a $30 purchase
  • Subway – Laguna
  • Sunny Day’s
  • Surf City Photobooths
  • The Signature Gallery
  • Tortilla Republic – Buy $100 gift card and get $20 gift card for free
  • Troylee Designs – 20% off TroyLee Designs Wear
  • United Studios of Self Defense
  • Jasmine General Store
  • The Vault Kids – 15% off
  • The Vault Mens/Womens – 10% off
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