Today is Small Business Saturday

See Santa during Merry on Main Street

Shoppers, including many who hit the big box stores in an early morning frenzy Friday, are encouraged to spend today checking out the unique things offered by our community’s small shops.

In Fort Dodge, many of those small shops are downtown. And those coming downtown today to do some business can also be part of some events to get the holiday season started.

Nationwide, today is known as Small Business Saturday. It’s a long-standing effort to encourage people to spend some of their Christmas-shopping dollars with small stores. Small businesses employ about 50 percent of those people working in private sector jobs. And it is small businesses, not big online retailers, who sponsor our kids’ sports teams and contribute to local charities. And let’s not forget that those small shops have a lot of nice stuff awaiting buyers. So clearly, small businesses are worthy of our support today and every day

Main Street Fort Dodge and some other key sponsors are building on the Small Business Saturday theme with a unique local event called Merry on Main Street.

For those who get downtown early enough, there will be a kind of cash giveaway. No one will be handing out United States currency, but there will be $20 in what organizers call Merry Money good for purchases with participating downtown retailers. To get their $20 share of the Merry Money, shoppers need to get to Green State Credit Union, 1207 Central Ave. between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. The first 50 people to check in there will get the Merry Money.

The local observance of Small Business Saturday is sponsored by Main Street Fort Dodge, Green State Credit Union and the Fort Dodge Convention & Visitors Bureau.

As the shopping winds down later today, a special guest from the North Pole will arrive to literally light up the town.

Santa Claus and Mayor Matt Bemrich will meet on the City Square at 4:30 p.m. to turn on the holiday lights there.

Then at 5 p.m. they will head down to Veterans Park at Central Avenue and 12th Street to light the towering Christmas tree there.

Santa will then move to The Dariette, 17 S. 12th St., where he will greet people at the drive-thru window until 7 p.m.

The lighting events are sponsored by Main Street Fort Dodge, The Dariette and the Fort Dodge Convention & Visitors Bureau.

We encourage everyone come downtown, do some shopping and enjoy the beginning of the Christmas season.


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