There are many economic reasons to support small businesses. In fact, this blog was originally going to be a great list of American Express’ top reasons why you should support Small Business Saturday on November 25th. But Small Business Saturday is also an opportunity to explore Frederick County’s five designated Maryland Main Street communities, discover places where old meets new – while patronizing businesses who reinvest our dollars back into our community.
“Small Business Saturday imparts a sense of community in Brunswick, where neighbors shop from neighbors, spending money in a much more meaningful way, growing the local economy and putting money back into something that matters,“ said Beth Johnson, owner of A Better Choice Bakery in Downtown Brunswick.
Putting money back into something that matters, is an interesting thought. “On average, 48% of each purchase at a local independent business is recirculated locally, compared to less than 14% of purchases at chain stores,” according to Civic Economics. It can also mean creating job opportunities in places that need it.
Small Business Saturday is at the beginning of the holiday shopping season for many and a big boost to the nationwide movement to commerce back to the heart of downtowns. “Big things often have small beginnings. This is the kick off for the busiest part of the year for our merchants. It’s a great way to connect community and our local businesses to spread holiday cheer,” said Ashley Collier, Main Street Manager for the Town of Mount Airy. Small Business Saturday was first observed in 2010 as a counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday which promotes big box retail and e-commerce. In contrast, Small Business Saturday encourages holiday shoppers to shop small and locally. American Express sponsored the first event and has grown the initiative ever since, which has been hailed as a success across the U.S.
In Frederick County, many small businesses agree on the success. “Small Business Saturday is a huge day for us It allows us to showcase our commitment to the community and highlight the importance of direct contact with the public. It emphasizes our dedication to customer service that only a local small business can provide,” said Murray Friedman, owner of Hunting Creek Outfitters in Downtown Frederick.
Hillary Rothrock, owner of J. Rothrock Outfitters in Downtown Thurmont, echoes those customer service sentiments. She said, “Shopping small and local means you’re supporting your community and getting personalized service too. I personally know many of my customers by name and I’m able to act like a personal shopper for many, pulling together what they need at a low price. Small shops are more than an accumulation of goods, they have personality and offer better service than big name stores.”
As Maryland’s leader with five designated Maryland Main Street communities and an affiliate Main Street, there’s no shortage of downtown charm and shopping opportunities in Frederick County. Main Street is a revitalization program created in 1998 by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. The mission of the program is to accelerate the economic progress and revitalization of Maryland’s traditional main streets and neighborhoods. In Frederick County, the designation helps boost aesthetic vibrancy through finding opportunities and increases confidence in the community and businesses located on Main Street.
Supporting local, small businesses doesn’t just end on November 25th – it is a chance to celebrate downtowns all year long. Becky Axilbund, Middletown’s Main Street Manager said, “While so many people are thinking about retail on Small Business Saturday, we are celebrating all of our businesses - our retail, our restaurants, and the great services available – all year long.”
We encourage you to make your way around all of Frederick County’s unique downtown shopping districts, explore a glimpse of Frederick County’s past and experience the beauty that defines Frederick County.
Frederick County’s Maryland Main Street Communities
- Downtown Frederick (Pick up a bag full of fun goodies on Small Business Saturday starting at 10am at 30 N. Market St.)
- Main Street Middletown – Admire the View and Spend the Day
- Brunswick Main Street – Canal Town, River Town, Railroad Town.
- Thurmont Main Street – Gateway to the Mountains
- Mount Airy Main Street (shared with Carroll County) – Stroll Along Lively Main Street
- New Market Main Street (Affiliate) – Where Old Meets New
To download a Shop Frederick County’s Downtowns brochure, click here or call the Frederick County Office of Economic Development at 301-600-1058.