Small Business Saturday expands countywide this year

Looking for something to do between Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

By Ann Powers

small-biz-sat-4Think small. Think local. Think Small Business Saturday (SBS) when the shop local movement takes center stage during the holiday rush on Nov. 26.

New this year, organizers have expanded the shopping spree to include the entire county. The Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce (TACC) and the Tillamook Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is offering a Shopping Passport Program. Previously, SBS focused on just central Tillamook.

But now, customers countywide can pick up a passport in their neighborhood retail community and take it in to any 10 participating businesses to get stamps. Once a shopper collects all 10 stamps, their passport becomes a raffle ticket to win prizes.

“We’re Tillamook County so it shouldn’t be just about Tillamook itself,” said Laura Gruenewald, TACC and SBDC support specialist. “It’s about rallying all of the communities to keep our dollars local, especially during the off season.”

small-biz-sat-2Economic studies show when $100 is spent at a local business, about $68 stays in the local economy. But, if customers spend the same amount at a large business (like big box retailers or a mega corporation) only $43 stays in the local economy.

American Express launched SBS in 2010. The nationwide shop-till-you-drop frenzy happens on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, which is usually the fourth Saturday of November. American Express supplies participating retailers with free marketing materials and outreach kits to help promote their business during SBS.

Local organizers said the county effort will include visits with Santa, family photo sessions, live music and more to boost consumer turnout.

“It’s an opportunity to cash in on this movement that’s pretty much a sub-culture, shop local, farmers market, kind of thing,” said Sierra Lauder, TACC director of events and downtown development.

In addition to SBS 2016 promoting rural businesses countywide, Lauder said organizers are hoping the event will entice downtown Tillamook shoppers who may otherwise be deterred by the current Highway 101/6 roadwork construction.

There’s still time for Tillamook County businesses to register and get involved. For more information, call 503-842-7525 or email

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