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Check out your local shops on Small Business Saturday; maybe win $250

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America’s long weekend of retail may now start on Thanksgiving and be bookended by Cyber Monday, but the cornerstone of it could be Small Business Saturday. Or Black Saturday, as the unofficial re-branding campaign seems to be going.

2012 study by Civic Economics, a company that analyzes the impact of buying local, found that the locally owned independent retailers in the study returned 52 percent of their revenue to the local economy, compared to just 13.6 percent by national chain retailers.

national chains

Studies also show that locally-owned independent retailers return more than three times the money, per each dollar of sales, than chain competitors.

These businesses won’t be opening at ludicrous hours but many will be offering deals, or just the opportunity to connect with local merchants.

American Express takes credit for founding the holiday shopping tradition in 2010, and encouraging people across the country to support small, local businesses. The next year – nationwide -- governors, mayors, senators, and even President Obama all voiced their support for Small Business Saturday.

Shoppers can register their AmEx card to get up to $30 back for shopping small on Saturday. For every $10 spent, AmEx will return $10.

horsedrawn

Make sure to check with your local merchant to see what deals they will be offering. For example, we know that Sweet Spot  candy shop in Short Pump will offer 10% off purchases, and Rostov’s Coffee & Tea will offer 20% off store wide.

For a directory of Carytown shops, click here.

Leave your shop's special Small Business Saturday special in the comments.

Check out the Small Business Saturday Carytown Guide that RVA Magazine put together.

There will also be carriage rides and a Santa visit in Carytown for the big event. Santa arrives at noon by horse drawn carriage, accompanied by the Snow Queen, the Greater Richmond Pipe and Drums and Marines. Through the holiday Santa will be at W. Hirsch Rugs every Saturday from 12 p.m. - 3 p.m.

Not only can you support local merchants, on Nov. 29, but you could be entered to win one of three $250 prizes. It is sponsored by the “Think. Shop. Buy. Local” campaign organized by the local Retail Merchants Association.

Shoppers can enter the contest by visiting one of the participating stores. The next step is that shoppers have to include the store name and the tag #ShopRVA, when they share on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Or instead of those steps, you can just fill out a form at the participating location.

A map of "Think. Shop. Buy. Local" participants is below, and underneath that, a text list of participants is shown. Where possible, clicking the participant name will take you to their online hub.

Three lucky winners will be chosen when they submit an entry form or snap a picture in store & share with #shopRVA!

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