by Lorie Lewis Ham
The Christmas shopping season is upon us and the Reedley Downtown Association is encouraging people to Shop Reedley First, starting with Small Business Saturday on November 30.
“Small Business Saturday is a day we are all supposed to Shop Small,” said Barbie Shakespeare of the RDA. “Small Businesses are the heartbeat of our communities. It is especially important for Reedley residents to take part and ‘Shop Small’ right here in Reedley, so they can help support their community.”
Small Businesses Saturday is a day dedicated to supporting small businesses across the country. It was founded by American Express in 2010 and it is celebrated every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. In 2011, the U. S. Senate officially recognized Small Business Saturday.
“This one small day has grown into a movement that millions of individuals, businesses, and communities have embraced nationwide, and hopefully Reedley consumers will recognize the importance of supporting this each and every day,” said Barbie.
The RDA has encouraged Reedley merchants to embrace and champion this movement and advertise being a part of Shop Small. “We’ve asked them to sign up with American Express to be a part of beneficial materials available to them,” continued Barbie. “And, we invite Reedley residents to be Neighborhood Champions and look for merchants that are participating with signs that say ‘Support Small Business. Shop Small Here.'”
“Valentino’s Italian Restaurant will be available [on November 30] starting at 10 a.m. to sell our Gift Cards,” said Dawn Barcellos, who owns Valentino’s with her husband Martin. “For each card purchased, we will be uploading an extra $5 as a thank you for supporting truly small business. If you need any additional information regarding the opportunities, go to www.ShopSmall.com or Facebook, as they are very active in the advertising of this annual event through social media.”
“I feel that this day is the most important day of the year to Downtown Reedley,” shared Jessica McCahill, owner of the Reedley Sandwich Shop. “Our Downtown Reedley is special. Spending money in our small businesses helps our community. It’s money that’s reinvested in our own people, our town. I think an important thing to consider when shopping is not just what’s the best price can I get, but where can my money do the most good?
“Downtown Reedley has so much to offer and lots of great deals to find. Shopping local means spending less in gas and helping to have better air quality. It means supporting local jobs and keeping our city in better shape. It benefits us all. As a small business and restaurant owner, I think it’s also important for people to realize that where they eat is where they shop. Small restaurants care about their customers. My customers mean so much to me. I strive to give my customers the same treatment I would like to receive. I encourage everyone to Shop (AND DINE!) Reedley everyday, but particularly Small Business Saturday.”
This year the Reedley Downtown Association has partnered with the City of Reedley to create their own personal approach to this movement with Shop Reedley First, Think Local*Buy Local*Be Local. “We’re excited about getting our community to think Shop Reedley First,” said Barbie. “We know we don’t have everything here in town, but if a birthday or anniversary gift, or supplies to build your next project can be purchased in Reedley, help by purchasing it here, it helps support your hometown. It helps us all.”
According to Barbie, most of the Reedley Downtown merchants are promoting Shop Small on November 30 with Open House festivities, but some may not accept American Express. “Our entertainment for the day is at the end of Small Business Saturday, it’s our Downtown Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony that starts at 5:30 p.m.”
At the Tree Lighting Ceremony their will be caroling, special performances, and more. Everyone’s favorite part, especially the children’s, is the part of the program where 500 candles are lit, while singing “Silent Night.” The grand finale is the countdown to turning on the Downtown Christmas tree lights, which is lead by the Mayor of Reedley, Mayor Beck.
To continue celebrating the Christmas season in Reedley, the Electrical Farm Equipment Parade will be on Thursday, December 5 where the city will continue the theme of Celebrating Reedley’s 100th anniversary with lit up tractors, trailers and trucks. Don’t miss out on all the fun, as everyone lines up down G Street waiting for the parade to go by. On December 5, food, fun and shopping begins at 5:30 p.m., with the parade starting at 7:30 p.m. You can go to reedleydowntown.com to download a parade float application.
If you want to continue celebrating with great Christmas fun in a great place, you can next check out Holiday Fun in the charming Tower District in Fresno. Visit the Tower District the first three weekends in December and enjoy some holiday cheer Tower Style.
The carolers from Sunnyside High School and Roosevelt School of the Arts will be serenading diners at Tower restaurants on both Friday and Saturday nights, December 6, 7, 13, 14, 20 and 21. On Saturday, December 7, 14 and 21, Santa will be greeting Tower patrons in front of the Tower Theatre, and Pedicab Jeff will be giving free Tower District tours from 6 to 8 p.m.
What better way to celebrate the holidays than to support local business in Downtown Reedley and in the Tower!