By JOANNE L. PAPAIANNI
On Sat., Nov. 25 stores across America will be offering specials, discounts and deals to those who shop local instead of at malls, big box stores and online. Here at the Shore many stores will be participating in what has become a holiday tradition.
Small Business Saturday was initiated by American Express in 2010 when after the great recession of 2008 many small businesses were struggling.
“In an effort to support these local places that make our communities strong, American Express launched Small Business Saturday on the Saturday after Thanksgiving,” their website states.
Following the traditional Black Friday, which in recent years has seen customers lining up before dawn to join stampedes at large retailers offering big discounts. But violence and injured customers have become a part of that tradition.
Small Business Saturday is the antidote to that, encouraging people to head to their local merchants where the shopping is more pleasant and in keeping with the holiday spirit.
It is also a way to support local merchants and for customers to meet their neighbors in a more intimate shopping experience.
According to American Express, “Just one year after the launch, local officials across the nation take notice and promote the day. In 2011, the Senate unanimously passes a resolution in support of Small Business Saturday. By 2012, officials in all 50 states participate.”
The Elbow Room on Main Street in Bradley Beach is offering a special comfort food menu for the winter months starting this weekend, including Sat., Nov. 25. The special is a three course meal at $24 per person for a choice of appetizer, entree and dessert.
Appetizers include a tri-color lettuce salad and sautéed pirogies. Entrees include shepherd’s pie, chicken Murphy, Tilapia and shrimp.
Choice of desserts include bread pudding, apple crisp and pumpkin pie.
Ann Bags Boutique on Main Street in Bradley beach is offering from 10 to 50 percent discounts on selected items.
Owner Ann Manna said all Italian Leather and New York designer inspired leather bags and wallets will be discounted 10 percent.
There will also be 10 percent off clothing, stainless and fashion jewelry.
A selection of ponchos and sweaters will be 50 percent off on that day only, she said.
Formula II Hair Designers, a full service salon in Neptune, is offering discounts on all retail products including clothes, jewelry and hair products. They are also offering a $35 pedicure special Friday and Saturday with the purchase of a gift certificate.
The salon also has a standing offer of hair cut specials for men and women with a shampoo and cut only $15 on Thursdays and Fridays.
Walk-ins are welcome. They are located at 2300 Route 33 in Neptune.
And shoppers can stop in at Jack Green Realty on Main Avenue in Ocean Grove for a free cloth shopping bag. Bags will be available at the front desk for shoppers who need something to hold all their Shop Small Saturday specials.
Paws and Anchor on Main Street in Bradley Beach is offering discounts on its hypoallergenic dog and cat treats. Many are also grain and meat free.
Also celebrating five years of consigning, GiGi Yvette’s Consignment & Resale Boutique at 4th and Steiner avenues in Neptune City is offering a 20 percent off storewide sale on Saturday as well as a gift card drawing, with no purchase necessary, to five lucky winners.
The store has new inventory and name brand clothing and handbags.
Langosta Lounge, Asbury Park Yacht Club and Pop’s Garage on the Asbury Park Boardwalk are holding their annual Gift Card Bonanza offering additional cards to those who purchase gift cards. The special is as follows: purchase a $25 gift card, get an extra $10; $50 get an extra $20 and $100 gift cards an extra $40.