For so many people, the holiday season truly begins on Thanksgiving. With the shopping frenzy that happens on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it often seems like the ideal time to get holiday shopping out of the way.

However, with big retailers working overtime to get us into their store or onto their website, it can be easy to forget about the unique offerings available in your local area.

That’s exactly why Small Business Saturday exists.

Held the Saturday after Thanksgiving — November 27th this year — Small Business Saturday is a national day to promote and encourage people to shop local.

With nearly 32 million small businesses across the US, it’s fairly common to hear about the importance of supporting small businesses, but what does that actually mean in practice?

Let’s take a look at how you can support your community by choosing to shop local — not just on Small Business Saturday, but throughout the entire year.

Why Shop Local?

Think about some of the small businesses around Maple Valley and Black Diamond. Who runs those businesses? Who works in these businesses?

These people are your neighbors, colleagues, fellow parents, taxpayers, the people volunteering at local events, and more. They’re the fabric of the community, and by supporting the businesses, you’re contributing to the greater good of the place you call home.

When you shop locally, you’re putting money directly back into your local economy. That money isn’t just going to the owner of the business, it’s also covering the wages of the employees, many of whom live locally.

The choice to shop local is also about investing in your community, as the money you spend will be recirculated back through your local economy.

There’s also something really unique about the connections you can make when you shop local. When you’re patronizing small businesses, the owner is likely more invested in ensuring you have a great experience. They understand that a thriving business needs loyal customers, so they want to get to know the people who buy from them.

Big box retailers often miss opportunities to provide a personal touch, which is something we’re all looking for. A small business often has a much easier time providing a personalized or customized experience, and can actually take the time to get to know you.

From sending a simple thank you card after purchase or reaching out to let you know they have a new product or service you may like, that attention to detail makes for an even better customer experience.

Now, some people have the misconception that the decision to shop local will end up costing them more, but that’s not necessarily the case. Some things could potentially be more expensive, but that’s not a given. Overhead costs are often lower with a small business, and they can benefit from a simpler supply chain by sourcing things locally.

Shop Local On Small Business Saturday — And All Year Long

Imagine being able to knock out most of your holiday shopping in ONE day!

Due to the timing of Small Business Saturday, most people will be looking to do their holiday shopping. It’s an ideal opportunity to make a day of being out in your community — do some shopping, have a meal out, and just wander around Maple Valley and Black Diamond.

Small Business Saturday is also a great time to make some connections with the people running and working at local businesses. Make a point to introduce yourself and take a few minutes to chat and get to know them. A strong community is all about a shared bond, so putting in a little effort helps build those connections.

For those that may not have any holiday shopping they need to do on small business Saturday, there’s still plenty of ways to participate and show your support.

Gift cards are an amazing way to support your local businesses for two reasons. Not only are you helping the business’ bottom line with your purchase, but if you’re using them as gifts, you can bring in potential new customers who may not have patronized the business.

Also, gift cards can also be purchased for your own use. Got a favorite hair salon, art studio, or pub? You can essentially pre-pay for your services by purchasing gift cards to use at your convenience.

Virtual classes are also offered by local businesses and can be purchased as a gift or for your own use. For people who are still taking extra precautions due to COVID-19, things like wine tasting, cooking classes, art lessons and more can all be done from the comfort of your own home.

By taking advantage of any virtual offerings you can still shop local and support small businesses without incurring any risk.

Got a particular product you love buying from a local business? Use Small Business Saturday as an opportunity to stock up! Many businesses are still trying to recover from the effects of the global pandemic, so those extra sales will be greatly appreciated.

Also, don’t forget to participate in a little word of mouth marketing. Local businesses are reliant on good PR to help them grow, so if you’ve had an amazing experience somewhere, share it!

Consumers are much more likely to trust the recommendations of people they already know and trust, so sharing positive experiences can go a long way towards increasing visibility and get more people interested in checking out these small businesses.

Shop Local In Maple Valley and Black Diamond

Do you want to participate in Small Business Saturday? Are you looking for some local businesses to patronize?

Shop local at some of these great locations!

Johnson’s Home & Garden
Johnson’s Home and Garden is your neighborhood hardware store with everything you need and great service. Incredible plant selection, the best selection of Traeger, Weber, and Big Green Egg grills, the best fasteners anywhere, Stihl, Benjamin Moore, Cabot stains, Milwaukee tools, and so much more!

AR Workshop Maple Valley
AR Workshop Maple Valley is a boutique DIY workshop that offers hands-on classes to create charming and custom décor. They specialize in birthday parties, client and staff appreciation, closing gifts, holiday celebrations, business logos, and team building!

You can book a workshop group experience tailored to suit any style and budget. They offer easy-to-book packages in person at the workshop, offsite or virtual to help you plan the best event ever.

Also, you can experience the joy of AR Workshop from anywhere with their DIY-To-Go. Grab a kit and craft when and where it’s most convenient for you!

No time to DIY but need to send a gift? They’ll be happy to create the perfect piece for you, your clients, and your staff. Custom projects are handmade at the shop in any color, style, and customization you choose.

Buds & Blooms of Maple Valley
Maple Valley Buds and Blooms proudly serve the Maple Valley area. They’re family-owned and operated, and committed to offering only the finest floral arrangements and gifts. They pride themselves on their friendly and prompt service, so their professional staff is dedicated to making your experience a pleasant one.

Eagle River Interiors
Eagle River Interiors is a family-owned and operated business. Originally called The Blind Lady Window Coverings, this small business has expanded through the years to become the full-retail and design company it is today. They offer consultations and installations on Hunter Douglas window coverings as well as flooring, re-upholstery, tile, custom drapery, and countertops.

Give them a call to help you with any of your residential or commercial window treatment, re-upholstery, tile, flooring, custom drapery, and countertop needs. They are very well connected in the home fashion industry and our goal is that you be completely satisfied with your project.

Grace & Joy Designs
Grace & Joy Designs offers affordable quality handcrafted items such as earrings, bracelets, headbands, wrist straps, cord keepers, keychains, bookmarks, and more! They offer an array of items at different price points so you’ll be able to find that perfect and unique gift. Grace & Joy Designs also offers items in Vintage Vino & Espresso and at the Maple Valley Farmers’ Market.

Just a Little Something
Just a Little Something is a local business that strives to prepare succulent arrangements and gifts that wow whoever receives them. They utilize up-cycled containers and boxes whenever possible to deliver their products, in an effort to do their part to protect the environment while keeping their prices competitive. Items are also sold at Tahoma Living, Our Hive, and the Maple Valley Farmers’ Market.

Just for Them Gift Baskets
At Just For Them Gift Baskets, they don’t create merely one gift. They skillfully bundle together handpicked items in top-quality baskets, add a bit of whimsy, and tailor them to please that special someone. Think of them as your personal shopper.

They pride themselves on sourcing most of their products locally and love to offer gifts from local artisans and support other small businesses.

Tahoma Living
Tahoma Living is a lifestyle boutique, or in other words, they sell a little bit of everything! They feature almost two dozen local artisans and small businesses who have handmade various products and placed them in-store with them.

Products include locally made bath and spa products, candles, home decor, refinished furniture, plants, baby clothes and accessories, earrings, and more! If you’re looking for great gifts locally made, this is your one-stop shop!

Maple Valley Farmer’s Market
The Maple Valley Farmers’ Market is a local staple from May to October, but did you know that they also run Holiday Markets?

Upcoming dates for the Holiday Markets are:

• Saturday, December 4th
• Saturday, December 11th

The market is located at the Maple Valley Legacy Site, 25719 Maple Valley-Black Diamond Rd SE and is open from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Everyone Wins When You Shop Local

Whatever reasons you have to shop local, there’s one thing that’s always true — supporting your local business can have a big impact on the whole community.

By choosing to keep some of your dollars in the Maple Valley and Black Diamond areas, you’re contributing to keeping our communities thriving and vibrant.

Want to learn more about supporting local businesses in Maple Valley and Black Diamond?

The Maple Valley-Black Diamond Chamber of Commerce is your first stop to find out about everything going on in our communities. Get started right here.

Maple Valley Black Diamond Chamber of Commerce Logo

About the Author:

Heidi Hanscom is the CEO at the Maple Valley Black Diamond Chamber of Commerce located in Maple Valley, Washington. To reach Heidi, call 425.432.0222 x101 or email: