WESTERLY, RI – As local merchants prepare to roll out the welcome mat for “Small Business Saturday,” taking place nationwide on Saturday, November 30, U.S. Senator Jack Reed is once again encouraging Rhode Islanders to support local small businesses.  In advance of Small Business Saturday, which takes place the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Senator Reed will recognize hometown retailers next Tuesday, November 26 at 10:00 a.m., during a walking tour of local shops, stores, and restaurants along High Street in downtown Westerly.   

Senator Reed will be joined by representatives from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the Rhode Island Foundation, the Ocean Community Chamber of Commerce, and others.  The group will kick off the event with a speaking program adjacent to the U.S. Post Office at 5 High Street before commencing a tour that will include several small businesses.  During the tour, Senator Reed will meet with store owners who will offer a preview of some of the special deals and in-store Small Business Saturday promotions they are planning for November 30.

Along the tour of High Street, Senator Reed plans to talk shop with merchants from: Miceli’s Furniture, Nigrelli’s Jewelry, Vintage Cigar Lounge & Club, the Malted Barley, Melissa Ashley Brides, Bella Vita Salon, Rhode Island Surf Company, and Westerly Jewelry Company.

The Small Business Saturday initiative began in 2010, and has been actively supported  by the SBA since 2015, to spotlight the impact and importance of small businesses on the local community and economy.  The branded shopping holiday was developed as the small business community’s response to big chain stores’ “Black Friday” sales.  While Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) and “Cyber Monday” (when online retailers typically offer deals) are some of the biggest shopping days of the year for national retailers, Small Business Saturday seeks to provide a lasting economic spark for local, independently owned stores.

“Small businesses are a major part of our communities and Rhode Island’s economy.  Small Business Saturday is a great way to celebrate and support our local merchants as they kick into high gear for the holidays,” said Senator Reed.  “Shopping locally can have a big impact on Rhode Island’s economy and offers a lot of advantages.  I’m looking forward to joining these small business owners as they gear up for Small Business Saturday.”

According to the SBA, Rhode Island small businesses employ over 229,000 people, accounting for over half the private workforce in the state.

Senator Reed says small business owners across Rhode Island that want to participate in this year’s Small Business Saturday can access helpful tools by visiting SBA’s Small Business Saturday site at http://www.sba.gov/saturday.