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Businesses join to offer Shop Small Saturday event

This Saturday, a county-wide effort including Nicholasville and Wilmore joins a movement across America aimed at turning people away from the malls and big store chains, and focusing on bringing them back to the “mom and pop” shops in their own communities.

“Shop Small Saturday isn’t always about the ‘steals and deals’ you can get on Black Friday morning,” Tara Hall from the Family Center in Wilmore said. “There are great deals and great selections, but shop small is about relationships and community.

“We are just small business leaders joining in a movement across America to turn people’s eyes away … (and) back to those small-town shops and entrepreneurs that have traditionally been the backbone of our economy.”

A tradition dating back five-to-six years, Ronda May from the Jessamine County Chamber of Commerce said Shop Small Saturday started sometime after 2010 when American Express issued a nation-wide effort to recognize smaller businesses.

“These small businesses are the backbone of our community,” May said. “They give Jessamine County the hometown appeal and feel that draws in new homeowners and residents. Without them, we lose our southern hospitality and ‘small-town USA vibe.’”

A specific list has not yet been established for small businesses who will be participating in Nicholasville, May said. Although, several shops will offer promotions during the day.

In Wilmore, Hall said many shops will be open with specials and door prizes all day Saturday.

“This year,” Hall said. “Autumn and Co., Sim’s Pizzeria and Ice Cream, The Family Center, Rachel’s Rose Garden, Gigi’s Gifts, The Community Service Center Thrift Store and Subway will all be open for business on Shop Small Saturday. We will (also) be joined by The Rooster’s Whistle, a Harrodsburg-based coffee truck, providing a variety of hot beverages for shoppers.”

Hall said early bird specials begin at 9 a.m. in Wilmore with door prizes being drawn between 2 to 3 p.m. at most participating shops.

“The Family Center will have a rest and play area for families to take a break from shopping, and something for everyone from Disney tickets to chainsaws at its silent auction,” Hall said.

To May, shopping local effects both business owners and families in the Jessamine County community.

“It reaches out and touches the lives of everyone that lives, works and plays in Jessamine County,” May said. “We want our small businesses to thrive and grow. I would love to see this become an event that we could do a scavenger hunt or passport to each small business.”

Hall said the event Saturday also helps investors and entrepreneurs see what Jessamine County is all about.

“We hope shoppers will embrace this unique opportunity for our little town and show investors and entrepreneurs that Wilmore’s small-town charm is a warm environment for even more shops, businesses and cafes,” Hall said. “It is important for Jessamine County to remember to shop local, if we want to see our communities thrive. A solid downtown shopping district combined with service providers and vibrant eateries can be the heartbeat of economics and neighborhood development.”

For more information on Wilmore’s Shop Small Saturday visitfacebook.com/events/2180719975503742.