TIFTON — Sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday encourages holiday shoppers to patronize small, local businesses for some of their seasonal shopping.

The 10th annual Small Business Saturday will be on Nov. 30 this year.

The shopping day was created by American Express in 2010 to encourage people to shop small and bring more holiday shopping to small businesses.

Local stores offer unique finds, hands-on customer service, and many offer the ability to shop online for those late-night pajama shoppers. Shopping local also keeps your dollars local, since the owners are your friends and neighbors who put their profits back into the community.

Local dollars stay local

Ellie’s Clothing Boutique, located at 206 Magnolia Dr., specializes in clothing and accessories for women and girls.

Manager Erin Parker said that shopping local matters because of the effect it has on the community and people.

“Amazon isn’t going to sponsor your child’s baseball team, or buy an ad in the yearbook,” she said. “However, when we are able to keep those local dollars in our town, everyone benefits. In the 10 years that Ellie’s Clothing Boutique has been a part of Tifton, we have sponsored hundreds of kids in our community.”

Parker said that Ellie’s has helped local kids with everything from needing donations to participate in extracurricular activities to yearbook ads and sponsoring sports programs. Ellie’s has also participated in the Suitcase for Kids program and sponsored Christmas gifts for more than 250 children.

“We are only able to donate and give back to the community when you shop local,” Parker said.

Ellie’s is having special sale prices on 3,000 items and will have racks of clothing priced between $10 and $25. Girls school uniforms will be on sale for $5 to $10 and the store will have a “deal of the day” throughout the week. Ellie’s also has an online shop at elliesclothing.com.

People you know

Adrian Walker, who runs blog and jewelry company Lady of the Farm, said that when people hear ‘shop local,’ they may forget that when they do, they really are helping out a local family.

“They are helping out a family with their bills, they’re helping a mom to buy her kid’s Christmas presents or even the week’s groceries, they’re helping a local family to be able to survive,” Walker said. “When my husband and I made the decision for me to be a full-time farm wife and to be able to help him and work on the farm and at the produce stands more, we had so many things that God had in store for us that we didn’t see coming. But God had a plan and one day, I woke up and decided that I was going to try to turn a hobby into a business.

“I began to get serious about making feather jewelry from the feathers on the farm and my fellow locals showered our family with the local love.”

She said that her family strongly supports shopping local, because they know what kind of difference it can make when the business stays in the community.

“Not only have I gained so much love for this community and the people in it, but we have been able to keep our family afloat, keep our family-run farm running, and to give back to the community,” she said. “Tifton has been a blessing for both Walker Farms & Lady of the Farm.”

Walker’s jewelry line is available at Two Biddies and online at her Etsy shop ladyofthefarmstore.etsy.com.

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