Local businesses gear up for Small Business Saturday

Published 9:51 pm Monday, November 25, 2019

Saturday is Small Business Saturday in Albert Lea and around the nation. It was created to encourage people to shop small during the biggest shopping season of the year and occurs annually the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

In Albert Lea, Albert Lea Economic Development Agency and Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce have partnered together to create the Small Business Saturday campaign: Shop Albert Lea, according to a press release.

Organizers have invited small business retailers in Albert Lea and Freeborn County to participate in the Shop Albert Lea Passport Tour. The passports are artist-designed and community-themed, featuring historic photos of downtown Albert Lea designed by local artist Elisha Marin.

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Each page of the passport has the names of four businesses and space to have the passport stamped. Participants can take their passport to as many businesses as they’d like between Nov. 30 and Dec. 12 — the day of the Holiday Bazaar in downtown Albert Lea.

Each stamp received will count toward an entry in the grand prize drawing of $100 in Chamber Bucks. There will also be a $75 and $25 prize of Chamber Bucks — all donated by the Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce.

The passports will be available for pickup by residents from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the new collaborative downtown location of the Albert Lea Economic Development Agency and the Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce.

To celebrate the event, Shop Local T-shirts and three-quarters length sleeve baseball shirts will be available for purchase at the event and afterward at the chamber office. People are encouraged to pick up a passport, check out the new shirts and enjoy cookies and cider before heading out to shop at local businesses.

Passports are limited to one per person, and no purchase is necessary to receive stamps from businesses.

“We hope that in participating in the passport tour, community members will have the opportunity to visit businesses they might have otherwise overlooked and to encourage the community to shop local,” the release stated.

People can follow all the announcements on the Shop Albert Lea page on Facebook and Instagram.