If it’s the Saturday after Thanksgiving, there’s only one place to be.
“Under the Awning” as Flossmoor celebrates Small Business Saturday.
Businesses in the village – both in the downtown area and elsewhere – will be handing out passport books filled with discount coupons at restaurants, clothing stores, spas and more.
“This is all about one thing, getting people to shop locally,” said Joann Lindholm, owner of Fresh Starts Restaurant and secretary of the newly revitalized Flossmoor Business Association.
Tables with red tablecloths are being set up all around the village as businesses display their wares and send a clear message that shopping should begin close to home. Hours of the event are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Saturday’s activities are sponsored by the business association, which reorganized last month following a two-year hiatus.
“We talked about a number of ideas for Small Business Saturday,” Lindholm said. “Some were more ambitious than others. In the end, we liked an ‘under the awning’ event with passports that let people in the Homewood-Flossmoor area know what we have to offer.”
Small Business Saturday is a national event that is wedged between two better-known shopping extravaganzas – Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In Flossmoor, business owners see it as a chance for shoppers to take a breather from the hyper-intensity of “doorbuster” sales and get back in touch with what’s available in their own communities.
Passport books are free, Lindholm said, adding that “you’ve got to go to one of our businesses on Saturday to get one.”
Coupons in the passport books vary from business to business. Fresh Starts, for example is offering a coupon for 50 percent off on an entrée at the restaurant. It will be good through February.
In addition, Fresh Starts is kicking off its gift certificate program on Saturday and offering a wide variety of wines at sale prices, Lindholm said.
Between eight and 10 businesses are expected to take part in the event. Some – like Fresh Starts, Sweet Annie’s and Flossmoor Station – are in the downtown area. Others are in the Flossmoor Commons shopping center or, like Hart Wellness Center, are on Governors Highway.
Lindholm said the Flossmoor Business Association has about 20 members left over from the previous organization and recently added six more. The Small Business Saturday activities are the group’s first event since its reorganization.
“There is a real buzz going around about this,” she said. “We’re excited and we want to spread that feeling to our customers.”