Sure, all the big stores will have sales the day after Thanksgiving. And ordering online is so easy, especially during the busy holidays.
But taking a few extra minutes to shop locally on Nov. 30 — Arlington Small Business Day — could mean the difference in finding that one perfect gift and not getting trampled on Black Friday or just waiting for a dull, brown box you get from Cyber Monday.
"When you spend money locally you help support your neighbors," Shana Lawlor, the founder of Arlington Small Business Day, told Patch in an email.
"The owners of these small businesses are supporting our community economically and creating jobs for our citizens, and it seems only natural that we support them in return. Sixty-eight cents of every dollar spent at a small business stays in the community. If you live, work and play in Arlington, why not shop in Arlington, too?"
Lawlor owns the Arlington-based Alainn Exporting. As a small business owner, she said she knows first-hand the importance of accumulating sales during the holidays. The idea for Arlington Small Business Day was to "build community around small businesses in Arlington" and drive sales to those businesses during a weekend of sales and promotions.
"The benefit to small businesses is not only financially tangible but it gives small businesses the opportunity to build new customer relationships and solidify their existing customer base," she said.
This year’s event, the second in what organizers hope will become an annual tradition, will target locally owned businesses in the Ballston, Clarendon, Columbia Pike, Crystal City, Lee Harrison, Lee Heights, Pentagon City, Rosslyn, Shirlington and Westover Village neighborhoods.
More than 110 small businesses have already signed up to participate — you can see the list here — and businesses can continue to register through Nov. 8.
Already, that surpasses last year's participation of 80 small businesses. President Barack Obama visited one of the participants, One More Page Books, during the 2012 event.
"We set a pretty lofty goal for business participation last year and we surpassed it, in part because there are so many great businesses in Arlington, but also because Arlington businesses support other Arlington businesses and their encouragement of their peer group to get involved has been huge," Lawlor said.
"…We're very excited to see how the event grows in the future."
For more on Arlington Small Business Day, and a list of participating businesses, click here.