PLATTSBURGH — Shoppers and diners are once again urged to patronize local businesses during the fourth-annual Small Business Saturday this weekend.
“It brings people out,” said Susan Rathbun, co-owner of Rathbun Jewelers in Ticonderoga. “It’s really a positive experience for us.”
The nationwide event is intended to shift the focus from large retailers on Black Friday and from online services on Cyber Monday, Dec. 2.
The Ticonderoga Area Chamber of Commerce jumped aboard the first year, Executive Director Matthew Courtright said. And the movement has expanded each season — there are 20 businesses signed up to provide discounts and specials this year.
He encourages shoppers to “stay local, buy local and eat local because the businesses here give back to the community in so many ways.”
Courtright said he, himself, has really embraced the stay-local movement and now does more than 90 percent of his shopping and dining at homegrown businesses.
He believes the community is also realizing the importance of supporting local merchants, not just on Small Business Saturday but throughout the year.
The Ticonderoga Chamber has even expanded on the idea. Small Business Saturday falls in the middle of its North Country Christmas Week, a series of special events that runs today through Sunday, Dec. 8.
Rathbun Jewelers, now in its 73rd year of business, has taken part all four years.
“I certainly believe in it,” Rathbun said. “It’s really taken off.”
The store will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, with an open-house-type event, with mimosas, cider and other refreshments.
There will be a number of items priced at 20 to 50 percent discounts. Customers can also submit entries for a wishlist drawing with several hundred dollars worth of prizes, with the winners chosen closer to Christmas.
Rathbun said Courtright and Chamber office assistant Molly Bechard have been instrumental in promoting the events.