Local business owners are encouraging shoppers to sleep in and skip the lines this Friday in support of small business.
This year, nestled between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, is Small Business Saturday, a national effort to bolster local economies and strengthen the "mom-and-pop" shops of the country, Somerset Inc. Executive Director Stephanie Williams said.
"Ideally, we should be supporting small business every day," she said. "But if big business gets their holidays, shouldn't our local economy?"
The merchant committee of Somerset Inc. has spent months coordinating the annual event, which is in its third year nationally. Small businesses in uptown Somerset are running holiday specials and discounts to further encourage residents to "shop small." The national campaign is sponsored by American Express.
More than 100 million people nationwide supported the event in 2011, Williams said.
"So far, we have had a tremendous response from local businesses who are posting signs, some of them with specials and discounts, to further encourage shopping," she said.
Merchant committee co-chairwoman Ramona Huston, of Somerset Drug, described the event as a call to action for residents and small businesses alike.
"This isn't just about Main Street," Huston said, speaking of Somerset Borough. "Small Business Saturday has been created to remind all consumers to shop at their local, small businesses during the holiday season."
Jessica Spangler, of Clothesline For Women in Somerset, said she's hopeful Saturday will stand toe to toe with the heavyweight shopping holidays it falls between.
"We're hoping people decide to make a difference and shop small," she said.