Long lines. Waiting in the cold. Shoving. Throngs of people. Images of Black Friday can literally terrify people. As someone who has spent many a Black Friday hunting for the best deals for Christmas gifts, it can be an exhaustive mess navigating the chaotic annual occurrence.
There is an alternative. One that is more positive and that deviates from the traditional Big Box stores we too often rely on. It’s called Small Business Saturday. It arrives the day following Black Friday and is aptly named to focus on the smaller establishments among us that deserve our business.
In Maine, small businesses are more than just the backbone of our economy – they pretty much are our economy. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses make up 99.3 percent of all Maine businesses and employ more than 284,000 people.
Small Business Saturday began in 2010 to encourage people all across the country to shop locally and look to Main Street as they purchase gifts and goods for the holiday season. It’s also a great way to celebrate our community by investing in downtown businesses.
As President of Saco’s downtown development nonprofit, Saco Main Street, we are committed as an organization to not only attracting new businesses, but supporting the existing businesses we have. We work with downtown businesses to determine how best to do that whether through social media promotions, developing specials, or organizing events to attract people downtown.
In recognition of Small Business Saturday, we will be giving away Saco Bucks to spend downtown that day. The first 200 people will receive $5 in Saco Bucks to shop, eat, and drink at participating businesses in our historic downtown. We will be at the Saco Scoop, next to the Post Office, between 10AM and 4PM. You’ll want to get there early to be sure to snag your bucks! Be sure to wear your ‘ugly’ Christmas sweater to be entered into our drawing for a $100 worth of downtown goodies.
These are the participating businesses accepting our Saco Bucks:
✓ CIA Cafe
✓ Dreaming Tree Vintage
✓ Platinum Pawn Shop
✓ Nabos Gift shop
✓ Gorham Bike & Ski
✓ On The Go Hair Salon
✓ Whimsicle ME
✓ Agren's Appliances
✓ Community Pharmacy
✓ The Golden Rooster Restaurant
✓ Expressions Boutique
✓ The Saco Scoop
✓ Vic & Whits Sandwich Shop
✓ Samudra Studio Yoga
✓ iRepair Service & Accessories
✓ Saco House of Pizza
✓ Half Square Quilt Shop
✓ New Moon Restaurant
✓ Quiero Cafe
✓ Saco Frame Center & Gallery
✓ Illusion's Hair Salon
✓ Michael's Pizza
Join me in supporting our thriving downtown, our mom and pop shops, and our community. The gift that truly keeps on giving.
Justin Chenette is serving his second term as the youngest senator in the Maine Senate representing Saco, Old Orchard Beach, Hollis, Limington and Buxton. He previously served two terms in the Maine House of Representatives. Outside the Legislature, he is the owner of Chenette Media LLC, a marketing & public relations firm and is the Marketing Coordinator of Saco Sport & Fitness. Sign up for legislative updates at www.justinchenette.com or follow updates at www.Facebook/JustinChenette.
Beyond the Headlines
Weekly Column featured in The Biddeford-Saco-OOB Courier Newspaper by Rep. Justin Chenette of Saco