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November 22, 2022

Shop on Small Business Saturday to have a big local impact

Courtesy / Main Street Bath The city of Bath joins Maine communities statewide that will celebrate Small Business Saturday this weekend as part of a national movement to encourage buying from local merchants.

Small Business Saturday, the annual holiday tradition that encourages shoppers to support local, independent retailers and entrepreneurs, celebrates its 13th year Nov. 26, with events from Biddeford to Bangor.

The yearly event was founded by American Express in 2010, and has become an essential part of small businesses’ busiest shopping season. According to American Express, shoppers came together in full force last year to support their local communities, and Small Business Saturday hit a record high with an estimated $23.3 billion in reported spending at retailers and restaurants.

“Here in Maine, we are blessed to have great downtown stores in nearly every community, and committing to shop local for the holidays is just one way that we can show our appreciation for the hard work Maine’s entrepreneurs do all year,” said Diane Sturgeon, U.S. Small Business Administration district director for Maine. “By shopping small, you often find higher quality products and can feel a sense of pride that these gifts came directly from someone in your community,” Sturgeon added.

Maine downtown organizations and chambers of commerce have many events planned for this weekend, celebrating both the holiday season and Small Business Saturday with festive events. Remember to show off your small business Saturday goodies by posting #ShopSmall #SmallBusinessSaturday to social media.


Starting this week, visit any of the downtown shops in Bath for great gift ideas and an Old Fashioned Christmas brochure, which will hold all the secrets of the season, including a chance to vote in in the Shop Window Decorating Contest. Details can be found here.


In Bangor, holiday shopping starts with Plaid Friday on Nov. 25, when shoppers are encouraged to wear tartan and avoid the lines, stress, and the hunting for parking spots that come with typical retail places after Thanksgiving. "Instead, sleep in and join us in Downtown Bangor for our Plaid Friday and Small Business Saturday shopping alternatives," a post on Downtown Bangor urges. "The name Plaid Friday celebrates the diversity and creativity of independent businesses."

A list of participating shops and restaurants in the daylong event can be found here.

Not just on Small Business Saturday, but every Saturday in November and December, the following stores will be running deals and specials: Benjamin's Pub, Central Street Farmhouse, City Drawers, Maine Jewelry & Art, Mexicali Blues, One Lupine/Maine Yarn & Fiber Supply, Penobscot Theatre Company, Rebecca's, Unikue & Original's, Valentine Footwear, White Lobster Vintage, Wildflower Cake Design. 


Shop small in Biddeford this year and support local businesses from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., when Heart of Biddeford is also hosting a scavenger hunt to win glory and one of three $60 gift cards. Download the EventZee app and play the Small Business Saturday scavenger hunt challenge for free.

The following stores are participating and some are offering specials: Dapper & Co., Common Roots Studio, Time & Tide Coffee, Part & Parcel, Luscious Curves Boutique, Sea Love, Just a Moment Art Gallery, Sugar, Flourish, Bendable Maine, and Wooven. For an up-to-date list and more details, click here. 


Brunswick Downtown Association will host Small Business Saturday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Participants include Pura Vida Day Spa, CBD American Shaman, Hatch on Maine, Hach Home, Wilbur’s of Maine Chocolate Confections, The Animal House, Fleet Feet Maine Running, and Indrani’s of Brunswick.

The Brunswick Downtown Association will host Pleasant Street Block Party after the annual tree lighting ceremony at 5 p.m. and the shops on inner Pleasant will stay open late, including Vessel & Vine, Root, Rind & Petal, Raven & Crow Co., MAIZ Columbian Street Food, and Woods & Waters Gear Exchange. 

A complete list of stores and specials can be found here.


Stroll among the historic buildings, take in the twinkling lights of downtown Freeport and L.L.Bean, enjoy a nice meal at one of the local restaurants while shopping at Freeport's locally owned businesses on Saturday. 

Participants include Foiled Hair Salon, De'Bramble Art Gallery, Chilton Furniture, Bow Street Home, Wilbur's of Maine Chocolate Confections, Lola Aesthetics, Cuddledown and GearME Outdoor Consignment and & Rentals. 

Store hours vary. Click here for more information.

Want to find a handpicked Maine made gift? Check out Two Sisters in Maine Artisan Fair Holiday Pop-up shop, recurring every Thursday through Sunday until Dec. 24. The shop is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 


For more adult-oriented activities, Stroudwater Distillery is hosting Holiday Sip & Shop on Nov. 26 from noon to 3 p.m. at 4 Thompson's Point. Shop local, Maine-made vendors while enjoying a cocktail and food from the bar and kitchen. Tickets can be purchased here.

Liquid Riot, at 250 Commercial St., will be hosting its first holiday craft fair on Nov. 27 from 3-7 p.m., when local artists and shopkeepers will be showcased. Reserve your spot on Eventbrite.


In recognition of Small Business Saturday, the city will be giving away Saco Bucks to spend downtown. Participants will receive $5 towards one purchase Saturday at the annual event hosted by Saco Main Street from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

Participants can use Saco Bucks at Pizza by Michael, The Saco Scoop, Golden Rooster Restaurant, Whimsical Maine and Agren Appliance & Television. See more here.


Save big all day with Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce and Shop Small Saturday. Mid-Maine stores will have festive holiday lights and decorations along with some significant savings.

Participating businesses will have coupon books filled with savings, shopping bags to collect special treats, and chances to win a $100 chamber gift certificate good at over 180 area businesses.


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