Not many small communities have latched on to the national Small Business Saturday movement quite like Charlotte. Through the collaboration of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, Love4Charlotte Businesses, CharlotteRising, and the Small Business Development Center at Lansing Community College, Small Business Saturday has turned into something special for the Charlotte community.

More than 30 downtown businesses are participating in this year’s event, which is held annually on the Saturday following Thanksgiving. 

Charlotte Chamber of Commerce executive director Courtney Anderson said this year’s event will provide the local shopper nearly everything they can imagine – home décor, a new outfit, a tasty meal, a children’s toy, and so much more.

“I think it’s great that we are all working together,” said Carolyn Rosier, owner of the Hen House in downtown Charlotte. “It’s nice to know that we are all working toward the same goal.”

Rosier said the collaborative Small Business Saturday efforts that have taken place the past few years have helped raise local awareness of how much downtown Charlotte has to offer consumers.

“So many people drive through town without a real thought as to all that’s offered here,” Rosier added.

Cindy Black, owner of Custom Home Interiors said efforts of organizations like the Chamber and CharlotteRising are starting to make a difference with local shoppers, adding that Small Business Saturday is a great catalyst for that.

“I think people are really buying into the ‘shop local’ movement more and more,” Black said. “It’s important to keep our local economy and our community moving forward.”

“Strong small businesses help to grow a strong community, and in return, a strong community will grow a strong future,” Anderson said. 

Kellie Hanford of the Small Business Development Center said more than 50 percent of the money spent on local businesses stays within the community, boosting the local economy.

Of course, Small Business Saturday isn’t just about shopping in Charlotte. The day includes different spots for family activities throughout the day, including pictures with Santa, Elvis, and the Grinch. The day is capped off by the Chamber’s annual Lighted Parade, which begins at 6 p.m., which is followed by the Tree Lighting on Courthouse Square.

For more information about Small Business Saturday, including a complete list of participating locations, call the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce at (517) 543-0400.