by Terry Rogers
Downtown Milford is the place to be on the Saturday after Thanksgiving as Santa arrives atop a Carlisle Fire Company engine. Not only will children be able to provide Santa with their Christmas list, downtown merchants will celebrate Small Business Saturday, offering discounts and specials. Some will even provide tastes of their wares in order for visitors to learn of the many options available for shopping and entertainment in the downtown area.
“Our doors will be open even though we are not officially opening until New Year’s Eve,” Lisa Johnson of BenVenuto said. “On Small Business Saturday, for every $50 in gift cards purchased, another $10 will be added for free. There will also be a surprise for anyone who stops in on Small Business Saturday.” BenVenuto will open at 9 PM on New Year’s Eve and their first official day open will be January 3, 2020. Reservations for both days are recommended as Johnson says she has taken many calls asking for reservations. BenVenuto is also offering specials and surprises during the Holiday Stroll on Friday, December 6.
Dolce will kick off a toy drive to benefit homeless students in the Milford School District on Small Business Saturday.
“Donations will be collected starting on Small Business Saturday and ending with Santa’s visit to Dolce on December 14th,” Stephanie Tatman said. “These awesome kids receive many donations for the essentials but do not often receive toys. We’re adding the Dolce love with a toy-for-toy match for every toy collected. We are also debuting our limited edition, handcrafted coffee mugs made by local artists. These will make perfect gifts.”
Josephine Keir LTD will be open Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, offering discounts throughout the store. Irish Rose is offering 20 percent off total purchases during Small Business Saturday. In addition, weather permitting, Oliver Hansen Musicians will play Irish and modern music on the sidewalk in front of the store.
“Visit us on Small Business Saturday and claim a raffle ticket for the chance to win a My Sister’s Fault gift card, t-shirts and more with no purchase required,” Angie Robles said. “Anyone who purchases a $10 gift card will receive a free chicken or beef empanada. We will also have cheese dog empanadas on sale for just 75 cents each.”
Stores in the downtown area will be open from 8 AM until 5 PM on Small Business Saturday and Santa arrives around 11 AM. The day culminates with a tree lighting ceremony at 5 PM at City Hall. During the tree lighting, there will be caroling with the Milford Central Academy choral program students.
Small Business Saturday began in 2010, an initiative of American Express during the recession. The event was designed to encourage people to shop small and bring more holiday shopping to small businesses. The first Small Business Saturday was such a success, the Senate unanimously passed a resolution in support of the day in 2011 and all 50 states participated. In 2013, more than 1,400 Neighborhood Champions were created to support events and activities on Small Business Saturday and, by 2018, there were more than 7,500.
According to American Express, for every dollar spent in a small business, approximately 67 cents stays in the local community which means shopping in downtown Milford on Small Business Saturday helps the economic growth of the Milford area.
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