It is that time of year again. The time when we set aside entire days for shopping. The time when shopping is a sport. The time when we look for something extra special to spend our hard earned dollars on. As you wind down from your Thanksgiving festivities and start to plan the perfect shopping strategy, don’t forget to THINK LOCAL. Plenty of our larger retailers will have the deals you expect on Black Friday, but save some of your holiday budget for Small Business Saturday, too.

Small Business Saturday, which occurs the Saturday after Thanksgiving each year, is “a day to celebrate and support small businesses and all they do for their communities,” according to the US Small Business Administration. This year Small Business Saturday is November 30. Many of the small businesses in our community will be participating in the festivities this year by offering promotions and special deals, so head to our downtowns and local stores to check them out.

We also shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that Small Business Saturday is more than just a “shopping holiday”, it’s about community sustainability. Every dollar we spend here in Cayuga County supports this community in its own way. Buying local means that the businesses themselves can continue to operate and grow. In turn, the local business can then reinvest a portion of those dollars locally. They can invest in the growth of their own business by improving their building or adding new product lines. They can invest in their workers, who then can go out and spend more money locally. They can invest in other local businesses by sourcing products and/or services locally, and then those businesses can go on to invest in all the same ways. See what happens here? Spending your dollar here means it can circulate here rather than somewhere else. Sales tax is another way your spending supports our community. Sales tax helps local governments to pay for services and programs, which helps to offset your property taxes. You are going to pay sales tax no matter where you shop, so better to offset your own property tax than someone else’s!

Not sure where to shop this November 30?

There are a number of local companies CEDA has worked with over the last couple of years that have some great local products for your holiday gift items.

Divine Coverings, LLC – Let Melody add some dazzle to your loved ones’ daily grind with sunglasses, water bottles and other products beautifully decorated with glitter, rhinestones, and bling. Find her at

KCC Woodworking produces a variety of ‘handcrafted rustic décor’ items available at

Three Leaf Tea- Another locally owned company with a wide variety of delicious tea blends and related products co-located with the Zen Den at 16 Genesee Street in Auburn or available online at

The Taste NY Store at the NYS Equal Rights Heritage Center (25 South Street, Auburn) has nothing but Made In New York items, many from right here in Cayuga County. Can’t pick just one thing? They also put together local product holiday baskets.

Want to support a local artist? Arthur at The Highcrafter makes prints and clothing with his artwork, available at

Gretchen’s Confections offers amazing hand-made chocolate products, and you can grab a coffee while you’re there. Make sure to stop by her shop 27 E. Genesee St in Auburn, because can you really go wrong with chocolate?

For more ideas, stop by the Cayuga County Chamber of Commerce’s offices at 2 State Street, Auburn, during regular business hours to pick up a free copy of the Community Guide & Member Directory, which lists Chamber Member businesses by category and will aide your local holiday shopping adventures. Check out the events pages and directories of the Cayuga County Office of Tourism or the Auburn Downtown B.I.D.  Visit the social media page or website of your favorite local store, restaurant, or business. Even if they aren’t offering a special deal, shop there anyway. And don’t forget about swag, tickets, memberships, and gift certificates from your favorite arts venue or historic site. The positive effects of local spending aren’t exclusive to promotions or to Small Business Saturday. They happen every day, all year round, with every purchase.

So during this Small Business Saturday, and every day thereafter, think Cayuga when you shop. If you love this community, invest in it. We here are 2 State Street certainly will!

The Cayuga Economic Development Agency (CEDA) is Cayuga County’s one-stop business development service provider.  Call (315) 252-3500 for assistance with your startup or growing business.
Published in the November 21, 2019, edition of The Citizen.