While most shoppers will spend much of today standing in long lines and seeking deep discounts at big box stores and malls, local small business owners are hoping they won't be forgotten in all of the hustle and bustle.
To remind local shoppers, many small business owners are throwing out the welcome mat -- blue ones emblazoned with the "Small Business Saturday" and "Shop Local" logos -- hoping it will remind shoppers to visit them too.
Small Business Saturday, created two years ago by a joint effort between American Express and small, local businesses, is aimed at getting shoppers to "shop local" and "shop small."
"On Black Friday, everyone is lined up at the mall for the crazy sales, but we don't have that here. We do have a lot of people who stop in on Black Friday though," Jill Balawender Reynolds, owner of Cheshire Glassworks on Route 8 in Cheshire, said Wednesday. "Small Business Saturday definitely brings people in. I try to do something special on Saturday to let people know that I appreciate them coming in."
This year, Reynolds and her husband, Jeff, will demonstrate glass blowing techniques from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
"We'll be doing glass demonstrations, making beads and ornaments, so people can see what we do," she said.
In North Adams, the North Adams Chamber of Commerce handed out the Small Business Saturday mats, but left it up to local business owners to decide if they were going to do anything special
"Globally, I think it's become a way to remind people that we're here," Glenn Maloney, newly elected North Adams Chamber president, said.
At Shima Boutique, Saturday shoppers will receive a discount on a clearance item for donations of winter outwear or non-perishable food items.
"We're supporting the Family Resource Center's free clothing exchange," co-owner Libbie Pike said. "For the donation of gently used coats, snow suits or boots, we'll give 30 percent off of one clearance item."
The donation of hats, scarves and mittens will qualify for an extra 10 percent off a single clearance item, as will the donation of a non-perishable food item, which will be given to the local food pantry.
"Saturday is really fun for us," she said. "We understand that most people will be at the mall on Black Friday, but on Saturday, a lot of our customers come to see us. We're also really excited because many customers who will come in this weekend will be here visiting family and we haven't seen them in a while. We get to catch up and see how the kids have grown."
Bark N Cat on Holden Street will also offer a discount to customers Saturday.
"In appreciation, we'll offer 25 percent off one item, excluding cat and dog food," co-owner Christa Abel, said. "We find that our customers are focused on shopping locally. They're good about coming in and asking us to order things for them, as opposed to shopping elsewhere."
In Williamstown, Images Cinema will offer a free screening of "Home Alone" at 2 p.m., sponsored by Burnham Gold Real Estate. Parents are encouraged to drop off the kids at the movie and shop in town.
At Where'd you Get That!?, customers will be able to roll dice for discounts off of their entire purchase and also sample holiday gourmet chocolates and candies.
In Adams, Michelle Biros, owner of Jeepers Creepers on Hoosac Street, said she'll discount purchases, between 10 and 30 percent, depending on the items.
"We offer a lot of great specialty items that you can't get anywhere else," she said. "We have custom T-shirts, stocking stuffers, specialty balloons, gag gifts, items for teenagers and a new specialty line of newspapers with headlines from the New York Times about events and sports teams."
The Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum on East Road will open its gift shop Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The gift shop, which offers locally made crafts and gifts, also sells jewelry, books and movies. Special drawings for free T-shirts, museum passes and more will happen at 1 and 4 p.m.
While some retailers are offering discounts on Saturday, others believe their loyal customers will stop by regardless because of the products they provide.
"Our prices are already pretty good -- they're at wholesale," Bob Blanchette, owner of Hobby World on Grove Street in Adams, said. "We did very well last year on both Saturday and Sunday, when there's primarily a lot of Christmas shopping going on. I think people come in because the stuff I have, nobody else has. I handle all the higher-quality stuff and I'll special order for people. You can't find the plastic models and kits I have anywhere else. I also handle all the real model trains and supplies and all the rocketry items."
To reach Jennifer Huberdeau, email