Small businesses around North Jersey's downtowns are gearing up for a busy start to the holiday shopping season with Small Business Saturday — a day to support and celebrate local merchants.
Small Business Saturday, which takes place on Nov. 25, will feature events across the country and in North Jersey to encourage consumers to shop, eat and play small this holiday season.
To find participating small businesses near you, visit American Express' website. Here is how some North Jersey downtowns are celebrating Small Business Saturday:
Downtown South Orange will be hosting its annual Small Business Saturday Street Fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., when vendors will gather in Spiotta Park to sell items such as crafted jewelry, apparel, accessories, art, gift items and food.
This year, it also will offer a promotion known as Downtown Dollars: a coupon for $10 off a purchase of $50 or more at participating businesses. You can visit the South Orange Downtown Tent and spin the prize wheel for a chance to win one of the coupons. They are limited to one per person and valid only on Small Business Saturday.
Go: Spiotta Park, 20-32 Village Plaza, South Orange.
Downtown Denville will host its annual Holiday Open House on Ice on Nov. 24 from 5:30 to 9 p.m., kick-starting the holiday season. Local businesses in the downtown area will be open into the evening, offering special promotions and holiday activities, which will continue through Saturday, Nov. 25.
The downtown also is hosting its first-ever hot chocolate contest. Beginning Nov. 24 and running through December, visitors are invited to taste the chocolaty beverages offered by participating locations in the downtown and vote for the most delicious.
All year, the Morristown Partnership offers a gift certificate program aimed at supporting small businesses in the community. Gift certificates ranging from $5 to $50 can be purchased for participating businesses in town through the Morristown Partnership, and you can earn a bonus $10 gift certificate with a $50 gift certificate purchase.
From Nov. 15 through Dec. 15, Morristown Partnership is also hosting a gift certificate giveaway. Each week, five winners will be selected to receive $100 in Morristown Partnership gift certificates, as well as varying bonus gift certificates from local Morristown businesses. At the end of the event, one winner will be selected from all of the entries throughout the month to win a $500 Morristown Partnership gift certificate.
To enter, shop at a Morristown retail or other non-food business, post a picture of your purchased item on Instagram or Facebook, then tag the business and Morristown Partnership: @MorristownPartnership on Facebook and @downtownMorristown on Instagram.
Morristown Partnership also has a shopping guide available, showing what deals local businesses are offering on Small Business Saturday and through the rest of the holiday season.
The Montclair Center Business Improvement District is partnering with The Wellmont Theater and Pharmacie Bar+Kitchen to celebrate Small Business Saturday and the holiday season with a Winter Wonderland.
From 12:30 to 6 p.m. at the Wellmont Arts Plaza, there will be live music and appearances by special holiday guests — like Santa, Buddy the Elf and the Grinch — as well as kids' crafts, raffles and activity booths sponsored by local nonprofit organizations.
Participating Montclair small businesses will offer promotions that are exclusively available on Small Business Saturday. A holiday shopping guide and map is available, detailing the deals offered by each business.
Go: Wellmont Arts Plaza, 5 Seymour St., Montclair.
Starting the weekend of Small Business Saturday, Madison will be hosting "Find Rosie the Rose City Reindeer." The monthlong event, which is open to children only, will run until Saturday, Dec. 16. Children can search for Rosie, who is hidden at more than 40 local businesses, and collect a store stamp or signature for every place Rosie is found. The cards can be taken to Tons of Toys or Madison Pharmacy, and children who collect 25 stamps will receive a special prize. Those who collect 40 stamps will be entered into a grand prize drawing. Participation cards can be picked up at any of the participating businesses. The event is meant to help families explore and support local businesses.
The town also put together a local gift guide, which showcases items from different small businesses in Madison.
Maddie McGay is the real estate reporter for NorthJersey.com and The Record, covering all things worth celebrating about living in North Jersey. Find her on Instagram @maddiemcgay, on X @maddiemcgayy, and sign up for her North Jersey Living newsletter. Do you have a tip, trend or terrific house she should know about? Email her at [email protected].