SKOWHEGAN — Skowhegan kicked off a week-long small shopping celebration with Small Business Saturday.
To encourage holiday shoppers to support local businesses, area nonprofit Main Street Skowhegan is giving back to shoppers over the course of shop small week — which will come to a close on December 2nd.
The campaign is raffling off two $100 gift cards to local stores of the recipients’ choice after making purchases at participating shops.
Dozens of local business will offer discounts and raffles of their own all week long.
Skowhegan’s small business owners stress that shopping locally doesn’t just support business owners – it fosters connection in the community.
“Having all the locals come in on shop small week is a big deal. They keep our doors open, and I really appreciate them and appreciate the friendships that we make,” said Kylie Brown, owner of Thrifty Chic Boutique and Consignment. “Big box stores…they don’t remember your kids’ names. Maybe they do, but I definitely will.”
“Whenever you make a purchase and it’s a consigner’s piece, you may be helping a single mom put food and formula on the table for their kids. You may be helping an elderly person put fuel in their tank for heat,” Brown stated, referring to profit earned by those who consign clothing at her shop.
To Billie Clark, the owner of the local bar Unwined, supporting small businesses is a collaborative effort.
“We focus on Maine-made products, so we have Maine-made wine, beer, and spirits, so we really like to promote other small, local businesses. We do a lot as small businesses too, for donations with local sports teams and fundraisers and things like that,” Clark stated.
For some small business shoppers, this isn’t just a way to support the local economy; it’s a longstanding family tradition.
“I like supporting small businesses. I try to shop here other times of the year as well, and it’s fun to come with my two daughters, they both live down in southern Maine so it’s great that they can come here, and then we go out to eat,” shared Cheryl Seamans, a shopper from the area.
For more information on Skowhegan’s shop small week, visit mainstreetskowhegan.org.