Arlington Kicks Off Small Business Saturday Initiative
Fifty Arlington-based businesses to participate in Nov. 24 event.
Business owners are asking Arlingtonians to shop local between Black Friday and Cyber Monday for the county’s own Small Business Saturday.
“What I wanted to do was build a community around small businesses in Arlington,” said Shana Lawlor, who came up with the idea about a month ago. “I want to build that community and draw sales to them this time of the year.”
Fifty small businesses in Arlington have signed up to participate. Lawlor, who owns Álainn Exporting, first put forth the idea on the county’s PLACE Space forum for residents to share ideas. The concept quickly took off.
“We’ve had some wonderful responses,” Lawlor said. “We have had some businesses jump on board right away.”
Lawlor said she and a group of volunteers are focusing on Arlington's retail, dining and online small business community. Businesses are encouraged to offer discounts Nov. 24, the day after Black Friday, the national shopping event where big-box stores slash prices.
In addition to offering discounts, participating small businesses are encouraged to display posters in their windows to advertise the event.
The Arlington initiative is independent of the national Small Business Saturday campaign and is meant to be locally focused.
“It’s wonderful to see a community rally that way to support their merchants,” said Cary Kelly, owner of Ah Love Oil and Vinegar, which has been in business for 18 months. “It’s more exposure through a different vehicle than we have used in the past.”
Kelly's Shirlington boutique, which sells imported olive oil, will be granting 10 percent discounts all day, along with food tastings.
Sweet Lime Portrait Design is also hoping the event will draw customers, owner Michelle Hayes said.
“Keeping tax money in the community helps all of us, and it benefits the consumer because they are usually getting more personalized service with a small business owner versus a big box store,” Hayes said.
The photo studio is offering customers a discounted gift certificate. Hayes said she prefers that to participating in Groupon.
“You probably get more thoughtful clients in this type of scenario,” Hayes said. “They are concerned about business in the community versus just concerned about the deal.”
Lawlor said she hopes more businesses participate next year. Organizers aren’t ruling out adding an entertainment component depending on how this year goes.
“We want to make this a staple event so that Arlingtonians can enjoy it for years to come,” Lawlor said.
- Artisan Confections
- Gossip on 23rd
- PetMAC — the Marketplace and Adoption Center
- The Java Shack
- Bradshaw's Children's Shoes
- Lemon Twist and Lemon Chiffon
- Pastries by Randolph
- Creative Kids Kitchen
- House of Steep
- Ashley Leonard Yoga
- Sweet Lime Portrait Design
- Maley's Music
- Dogma Gourmet Dog Bakery & Boutique
- One More Page
- The Liberty Tavern
- Northside Social
- Lyon Hall
- Bean Good Coffee Pub
- South Block
- Ah Love Oil and Vinegar
- Hard Times Café Clarendon
- Grateful Red
- Bronx Pizza and Subs
- Urban Halo
- Rabbit Grill
- CD Cellar
- Fuego Cocina y Tequileria
- Leonora Bakery
- Green Pig Bistro
- Oby Lee
- Our Kids
- Art by Anne Lewis
- Our Little Beehive
- Ryann Collen Photography
- Cafe Sazon
- Americana Hotel
- Northern Virginia Arts Center
- Sprout at Saffron
- Happy Doh Lucky
- LeoNora Bakery
- Cassianna Spa
- Buckingham Florist in Arlington
- Blessings Unlimited
- Bijoux Fufu
Do you know about a small busines opening in Arlington County? Email Clarendon Patch Editor Rachel Hatzipanagos at firstname.lastname@example.org.