Mackenzie Speid gets in the spirit by getting a gift for her aunt.
By Janet Redyke
VERNON — The commencement of the holiday season has officially begun. Three days have become essential shopping days in the 21th century. They are Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. Of course, Black Friday is the day to shop the chain, big box stores and the malls. Cyber Monday offers the best online deals while Small Business Saturday promotes shopping on the neighborhood, local level. Small businesses are and have always been an extremely important part of the American economy. According to wincalendar.com, small businesses provide 66 percent of all new jobs. Created by the American Express Corporation, Small Business Saturday was first held on Nov. 27, 2010. The following year 2011, President Obama and other political figures voiced support for the new day of shopping. From then on Small Business Saturday is observed annually on the Saturday following Thanksgiving. Statistically, according to the National Federation of Independent Business, the Small Business Saturday in 2015, 95 million customers shopped local, neighborhood businesses and spent an average of $16.2 billion and that total rises by a small percentage each year. Locally, the Merry-Go-Round Shop and Calico Café in Hamburg was doing a spirited business on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. It was also perfect timing that the shop was running a retirement sale with purchases on sale for 20 percent to 90 percent off. Merry-Go-Round owner Leslie Lutz is anticipating a wonderful and well-deserved retirement. The shop was a familiar Hamburg establishment for 32 years. Cars crowded the parking areas of local restaurants like The Mixing Bowl as shoppers took breakfast and lunch breaks. Lori Struck of Highland Flowers offered percentage discounts and a free gift upon purchase. “Local shopping is so important for the town of Vernon,” she said. Highland Flowers will be celebrating their 25th anniversary on December 7th with a 25% discount on all merchandise. Whether you trekked to the mall on Black Friday, shopped local on Small Business Saturday or searched for deals online on Cyber Monday, you probably got the perfect holiday gift and in a small way, helped boost the economy.