Support your merchants: Small Business Saturday encourages residents, visitors to shop locally

The Churchill Economic Development Authority and Fallon Chamber of Commerce are teaming up to make this year’s Small Business Saturday a memorable one for both local residents and visitors.

In 2010, the Saturday after Thanksgiving was named Small Business Saturday by American Express. As the day has evolved for the past decade, the goal continues for shoppers to support the growing number of small businesses across the country including those in Churchill County.

“Small Business Saturday is very important,” said Sara Beebe, CEDA’s director of operations and adviser for the Small Business Development Center. “It boosts the local economy by having people shop local. Instead of people going to the big chain retailers, they stay home to support the mom and pop stores in town and keep their money here locally.”

The more you shop in your hometown the more money stays here. MetroFamily Magazine, for example, estimates for every $100 spent at a locally owned business, $73 remains in the local economy and $27 leaves. That’s compared to the same $100 spent at a nonlocally owned business where $43 remains in the local economy and $57 leaves.

Lucy Carnahan, executive director of the Fallon Chamber of Commerce, said people like to visit stores, participate in the scavenger hunt or walk around.

Beginning at 8 a.m. on Saturday at the CEDA/Chamber office, 448 W. Williams Ave., suite 103, Beebe said people may begin their scavenger hunt by picking up bags and other information on businesses and any sales. Each person receives a raffle ticket that will be drawn later in the afternoon for a gift basket. In addition to receiving bags, both Beebe and Carnahan said participants are eligible to participate in a Gurka hunt. Beebe said participating stores are hiding a Greenwave Gurka in their businesses, and people who come in and find the Gurka may take a photo of it or a selfie with them in the photo

Beebe said people may post the Gurka with the hashtag #Gurkabusiness.

Carnahan also said those who don’t arrive at 8 a.m. at the CEDA/Chamber office may up their bags and game pieces later in the morning, but it’s first come, first served.

More than 30 business within the city limits and in the county are participating in this year’s Small Business Saturday. Although some businesses are not participating or are shuttered, Carnahan said others stepped in such as Lattin Farms on McLean Road and new businesses The Grid on Taylor Place and Memories Boutique on South Maine Street.

“This year has been hard on your local businesses (because of the coronavirus pandemic),” Carnahan said. “We want the businesses to stay healthy and stay open.”

Beebe said many small businesses donate money or gifts to the various organizations in town, but she said it’s time for the community to help them. Both Beebe and Carnahan said the shopping day on Saturday could make or break the businesses for the holiday season.

“It’s a chance to show our support,” Beebe stressed.

Carnahan said it’s also important for customers to respect each owner’s regulations for wearing face coverings and maintaining social distancing.


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