Stores in Franklin County hope Small Business Saturday will kickstart holiday shopping
Don’t forget about the small businesses in your town when shopping for loved ones this holiday season.
Small businesses around Franklin County are gearing up for Christmas shoppers. Small Business Saturday – sort of like a Black Friday for small businesses that is held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving – will give many of them the first boost of the season.
In past years, Small Business Saturday has been a “building event” for ELM Department Store in Greencastle, owner Jan Martin said.
This year’s holiday season is starting off on a good foot, and Martin expects the local retail promotion will only help. The historic store will offer a free gift with purchases of $100 or more, and there will be sales throughout the store.
While the retail industry’s shift to online sales has hurt major chain stores around the country, ELM has become a rare experience.
“There’s less and less in-person options. As far as to be able to walk into a store to try on clothing and have someone assist you, that has nearly disappeared,” Martin said. “A lot of people have searched out our option.”
In Chambersburg, Black & Blush Boutique has also been relatively safe from economic conditions that have hurt many other retailers.
The sister-owned store on North Main Street opened 45 days before COVID-19 shut down the town.
“I was surprised the store just kind of kept bopping. It really hasn’t slowed down at all,” said Cortney Hanks, who owns the store with her sister, Brittani Black.
Black & Blush will have some doorbusters and will offer extra discounts on clearance items. In addition, customers who spend $50 or more will receive a coupon they can use in December.
While ELM and Black & Blush sell all new clothing, thrift stores are a mainstay of local downtowns.
In Waynesboro, Nifty Thrifty will offer half off of everything in the store on Small Business Saturday, owner Joe Calderon said.
Business has been up and down lately, but Calderon said he is happy all things considered.
“We have some loyal shoppers, yes, some new faces, then again we haven’t seen some customers since the pandemic,” he said.
He hopes the holidays will bring in some new clientele.
“We like to say we have something for everyone, both style-wise and price-wise.”
Also of interest:Boutique brings a unique artisan shopping experience to Waynesboro
Win 'dollars' to #shopsmall
Organizations in Chambersburg and Greencastle are offering incentives for shoppers to patronize local small businesses.
Shoppers who come to downtown Chambersburg on Nov. 27 will be able to enter for a chance to win part of $2,500 in "Downtown Dollars," or vouchers that can be used just like money at participating businesses.
The Small Business Saturday promotion hosted by Downtown Chambersburg Inc. has been filling the downtown corridor on this shopping holiday for years now.
"Downtown Chambersburg has done a good job marketing it," said Hanks, the Black & Blush co-owner.
Participating businesses have been posting signs inviting shoppers to "#shopsmall".
To take part in the Downtown Dollar giveaway, a shopper must present a receipt from a downtown Chambersburg business with a total of at least $25 dated Nov. 27, 2021. Receipts will be accepted starting at 10 a.m. in the Courthouse Plaza.
Vouchers worth $10, $20 and $50 will be awarded. One winner will receive a voucher for $100. The total value of a voucher must be used at one store.
Get details about the Downtown Dollars giveaway at downtownchambersburgpa.com/smallbizsat.
The Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce is encouraging people to do their Christmas shopping at local businesses throughout the holiday season and enter the Shop Small Sweepstakes for a chance to win cash prizes.
To enter, shoppers need to make purchases at five different chamber member businesses by Dec. 17; fill out a Shop Small ticket; and take their receipts and ticket to the Greencastle-Antrim Chamber. Tickets are available at the chamber office, local businesses and, during Heritage Christmas events Dec. 3 and 10, at Holiday House on Center Square.
For more information, call the chamber office at 717-597-4610, stop by the chamber office at 217 E. Baltimore St. or visit
Other business organizations around Franklin County are not advertising Small Business Saturday events like the one in Chambersburg, but stores around the county will be taking advantage of the spotlight and offering sales and special activities. Here are two:
- In Mercersburg, One North Coffee and Bake Shop will host a Christmas Market from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- In Greencastle, Joyful Arts Studio will host two sessions of a make-it, take-it ornament or wine glass painting project, 10 to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 to 2 p.m.; reserve a spot at https://bit.ly/3qK4HBZ.
Gannett reporter Shawn Hardy, of the Echo-Pilot in Greencastle, contributed to this report.
Amber South can be reached at email@example.com.