Local Portland shops prepare for Small Business Saturday - KPTV - FOX 12

Local Portland shops prepare for Small Business Saturday

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Thousands gathered in Portland’s living room Friday night to watch the annual lighting of the Christmas tree in Pioneer Courthouse Square.

Many local business owners were also there, and said the glowing lights also represent the beginning of the holiday shopping season, and, the eve of small business Saturday.

More than 14,000 lights are now glowing on the downtown tree, and the twinkling city of roses and red noses is officially checked in to the holiday spirit.

“This time of year, all the small businesses band together, it feels so community… and the tree lighting also feels so community,” Celste Sipes said. “It’s this warm fuzzy Portland handholding experience that I really like.”

Sipes is the owner of Radish Underground, a local boutique in the West End. Like many other local business owners, she said the beautiful glow of Portland’s Christmas tree is also a symbol that holiday shopping, and Small Business Saturday, is here.

“It’s become quite a weekend that we depend on to really get us through to the end of the year,”  she explained.

Around the corner at Finnegan’s Toys and Gifts, little ones were soaking in the sights of unique toys, including many probably not found at the big box stores.

Employee Dana Cuellar said she loves working at the wacky wonderland, a slice of Portland that’s impossible to replicate.

“It’s been downtown 40 years, and people walk in from other cities and say, ‘Wow, places like this still exist?’” she told FOX 12.

Cuellar said she’s ready for Small Business Saturday and hopes Portlanders will take a break from seeking the best deals and instead give back to the people who make the Rose City home.

“Just really reconsider where you want to spend your dollars this year and try to shop locally,” she said. “We definitely felt the impact when Amazon Prime kicked in, and I know it’s nice to shop in pajamas when you can, but you can wear them here, too.”

To stay competitive in the digital landscape, many local shops and stores have come together for their own website and app, Shop Little Boxes. In addition to listing shops by neighborhoods, the app offers shoppers a game that gives users more chances to win based on what all they purchase and how many stores they visit.

From welcome signs to apps with prizes, small business are pulling out all the stops to bring in customers this holiday shopping weekend, and store owners and workers like Cuellar are hoping to hear bells, and cash registers, ringing.

“I just can’t emphasize enough how important it is to any of the small businesses.”

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