By RYN HERRMANN
Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce
As the holiday season approaches, I can’t help thinking about last year’s Small Business Saturday in Los Alamos and White Rock. The county was bustling with people doing their holiday shopping, taking advantage of the many special deals that Small Business Saturday always offers and getting their Blue Bucks raffle tickets, hoping to be the big winner.
This year, as the current two-week shutdown “reset” continues, some of those businesses we shopped at last year are closed, and many are now struggling to stay open. Small Business Saturday this year is a reminder of how we can help support our friends and neighbors that own small businesses in our community.
Small Business Saturday is an annual celebration in conjunction with the national promotion started by American Express to support local businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Started in Los Alamos by local retailer Cyndi Wells, owner of Pet Pangaea in 2010, the event has grown and now certainly changed.
The Blue Bucks Raffle is still happening this year! Brought to you by Enterprise Bank & Trust, the raffle tickets will be given away from participating businesses for every $25 spent. Each raffle ticket gives shoppers a chance to win great cash prizes and gift bags. The grand prize is $1,000 in cash and the local business that gives away that winning ticket will also win $1,000.
In the past this program only ran for 10 days, but this year, to stretch out the shopping and incentivize early, local shopping, it runs from Nov. 15 to Dec. 15. Online shopping, takeout and delivered food, and gift cards are all eligible purchases from participating merchants. Winners will be announced on Dec. 17.
The Los Alamos Holiday Shopping Guide was published again this year in the Los Alamos Daily Post! Brought to you by Del Norte Credit Union, the shopping guide can be found on the Chamber and MainStreet web pages, losalamoschamber.com and losalamosmainstreet.com. It offers all kinds of fun, unique gift ideas for those on your list that might be hard to shop for, while supporting our local businesses.
With the help of PAC 8, the Chamber will be going live on YouTube at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 28. Sponsored by Del Norte Credit Union, we had originally planned to interview many business owners to learn about their offerings. But now we might just discuss all the online, curbside, delivery and gift card options that are out there! Regardless, the link to view Small Business Saturday LIVE will be available that morning, on the Chamber website.
It’s more important than ever to shop small and keep dollars in Los Alamos and White Rock this year. Before going online to shop this holiday season, I urge everyone to consider all the special, unique gifts that can be found right here in our community.
It’s these types of purchases, and a commitment to shopping local, that will keep our family-owned businesses around for the long term. And don’t forget that Saturday, Nov. 28 is also a tax-free holiday!
For more information about Small Business Saturday or to view a list of participating businesses, visit losalamoschamber.com/small-business-saturday/.
I encourage everyone to continue to support our local businesses this Small Business Saturday and holiday season. Someone is still going to win that big prize this year and it could be you! So shop safe, shop local, and shop Los Alamos and White Rock.