Shop on Plaid Friday, Small Business Saturday

There’s one weekend a year when small businesses across the Northern Shenandoah Valley and beyond become larger than life to celebrate the shop local motto: shop small and make a big difference.

Brenda Young Adams, owner of Simply Charming Boutique in Winchester, said she values the importance of Plaid Friday and Small Business Saturday.

“For two days, we come together as a community and remind the public of the importance of shopping small. It makes a big difference,” Adams said. “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for our loyal customers.”

First celebrated in 2009 in Oakland, California, a city known for its many shop local campaigns, the Plaid Friday movement spread quickly across the United States as small businesses came together to celebrate the importance of reminding customers to shop local and small.

In 2010 American Express launched Small Business Saturday to encourage Americans to support small, local businesses. In 2011, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution that officially recognized the day. According to the American Express Shop Small website, over $15.4 billion dollars has been spent at independent retailers and restaurants since its origination.

Emily Rhodes, owner of Polka Dot Pot in Winchester, and other downtown merchants will be participating in a new concept this year.

“Shop small, win big is this year’s campaign,” Rhodes said. “We’ve come together and created gift baskets filled with local merchandise.”

For those who want to participate, it’s easy. Shop, eat, drink and be merry with four Oldtown Merchants, and be entered to win one of the gift baskets.

“It’s that simple,” Rhodes said.

Merchants participating include: Winchester Brew Works, The Polka Dot Pot, Posh Pets, Winchester Book Gallery, Tin Top, Expresso Bar, Lox Salon, Handworks Gallery, Simply Charming Boutique, Thinker Toys, Old Town Stained Glass, Worlds Away Escape, Abija Blue, Once Upon a Find, Old Town General Store, Eclectic and Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum.