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O’Connor: Spend locally on Small Business Saturday
This Saturday is Small Business Saturday, a key shopping day with the reminder to support small businesses. Wedged between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the day represents more than another chance to shop holiday deals; it highlights the importance local businesses have on our community, jobs and the economy.
Experts predict that 2021 will be a record holiday shopping season, but that most consumers will opt to make their purchases online. There are important reasons to remember local merchants. For every $100 spent at a locally owned business, roughly $68 will stay in Oklahoma City, compared to $43 when you shop at a national chain. Beyond dollars being kept within our community, small business owners support local causes, donate to fundraisers and participate in community-building events.
Oklahoma City offers festive ways to support small businesses throughout the holiday season. Automobile Alley hosts the Lights On Broadway event every Saturday through Dec. 11 from 4-7 p.m. Various retail shops and restaurants will feature window displays, pop-up activities and family-friendly programming along the sidewalks such as live music, balloon art, performances and photos with Santa Claus.
Midtown will host the Make Ready Market this Saturday from 11 to 4 p.m. on the corner of Harvey and 13th. The market will feature live music, food trucks and high-quality makers and artists offering jewelry, woodworking, hand-made clothing, skincare, perfume, pottery, plants, and vintage finds.
The Holiday Pop Up Shops return this year to Midtown with illuminated geodesic domes, weekly rotating shops, and a tree lot on the corner of NW 10th and Hudson. The shops are open Friday through Sunday until Dec. 19.
There are many other winter events and activities in downtown Oklahoma City. You’ll find holiday concerts and performances at Scissortail Park, the Civic Center and Chesapeake Arena. Myriad Gardens will be decorated for the holidays and will host the Children’s Garden Winter Wonderland Lighting on the grounds and the Holiday mART in the lobby of the Crystal Bridge with local artists and artisans displaying original works in every price range.
I encourage you to support all types of small businesses – including retail stores, restaurants, coffee houses, spas, art studios and more. Small Business Saturday may help you discover new stores and services and inspire you to support local merchants all year long.
Cathy O’Connor is president of The Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City.