A woman handing a shopping bag to another woman in a store.

Shop here, there, and everywhere

You started early – many shopping yesterday – on Thanksgiving. You know who you are – those sitting in a big over-stuffed chair after that turkey dinner, phone in hand, spent nearly $6 billion doing online shopping. But today it starts in earnest – 1, 2, 3 – shop! Today is known as Black Friday with all the specials that come with it. Time for an extra coffee, and make your shopping list task. Being organized will help you spend less, and more efficiently. Have those conversations about what big families will do (pick a name? buy for all? buy for just the children? – and do you have a budget to spend on each.

You might start with those staples of online to grab the deals you just can’t overlook – for stores like Macy’s and Target, some are offering free same-day delivery or pick up in store. Then check out the “buy local” options and help local businesses same as always, but even more so in this first year back to what is much more normal business than in the last 2 years. We’ve give you information on Small Business Saturday, Shop Local RI, Shop RI, and then some local Christmas fairs and even ways to buy affordable, original art.

Here’s a link to our USPS rules on mailing and shipping – important for card-sending and package shipping:

Small Business Saturday

Saturday, November 27th is Small Business Saturday – a day to celebrate and support small businesses and all they do for their communities. This year, we know that small businesses need our support now more than ever as they navigate, retool and pivot from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The SBA and organizations across the country are hoping for strong support for local small businesses by shoppers choosing to shop locally, at a small business.

Small Business Saturday was founded by American Express in 2010 and then cosponsored by SBA since 2011, in hopes that the promotion would become an important part of small businesses’ busiest shopping season. Projected spending among consumers who shopped at independent retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday reached an estimated $19.8 billion according to the 2020 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey commissioned by American Express, and 97% of shoppers said they recognized the positive impact they could make by shopping small, with 85% reporting they also encouraged friends and family to Shop Small® as well.

The SBA, Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP), and American Express will kick off the 2021 holiday season by encouraging consumers to support the 32 million independent businesses tomorrow – Small Business Saturday and throughout the holiday season.


Shop Local RI

There is a website with vendors in RI that are offering information and access to shopping online – it is: – the site includes Veteran-Owned, Black-Owned, Women-Owned and Minority-Owned business links.


Small Business Saturday SHOP RI (SBS SHOP RI) is Saturday, November 27th , from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Now in its fifth year, this year’s event will return to the Crowne Plaza, in Warwick, with newly minted small businesses, unique gift items and specialty products. Following last year’s hiatus from its original home, which became a virtual event, SBS SHOP RI expects a larger in-person shopper turnout than 2019 due to pent-up demand. All COVID protocols set by the venue will be observed, and event planners have sent a list of additional precautions to vendors to ensure a safe and successful day for everyone.  

“We were thankful to have been able to hold this popular event by converting it to an online experience last year – even continuing to host the e-commerce website site until the end of the year to support small businesses and make it easier for shoppers,” comments Sue Babin, Event Manager, RI DevelopmentalDisabilities Council (RIDDC) “But the vendors are so excited to see the shoppers, and each other again, they have been preparing their inventory for months, and of course, hoping Covid wouldn’t prevent this annual holiday event from happening in person. Since July, shoppers have been reaching out about the event. We were uncertain about Covid, but certain that shoppers were eager – a very good sign.”

SBS SHOP RI, the all-under-one-roof, pop up mall will host more than 150 vendors ranging from award-winning graphic artists, photographers, to designer crafts, jewelry, gourmet food items and other home-made specialties. Among the small businesses are: local entrepreneurs and small businesses, Farm Fresh RI, veterans, women and minority-owned businesses including people with disabilities, representing a culturally diverse population as well as a wide range of unique gift ideas for the upcoming holiday season.

Introduced in 2017, the event has increased in size and scope each year, last year alone having evolved to include Self Employment Business Classes, e-commerce tutorials to support vendors, and live interviews on Facebook to enhance exposure for small business owners. The RI Developmental Disabilities Council (RIDDC), a founder and sponsor of the event, had also developed and hosted on their website a Holiday Gift Guide that features the fledgling small business owners who have completed business start-up classes and a business plan, an addition that will continue this year.

Rebeeca’s G Cards makes cards using a head stick; one of many members of the RI Developmental Disability community(photo attached) …and small business community, too. Her video:

There are approximately 150 vendors – go here to see all who are participating:

Members of the RI Developmental Disabilities Council (RIDDC), Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOC), The Center for Women and Enterprise (CWE) and the Small Business Administration (SBA) pioneered the initial effort. The RIDDC continued to provide business development classes, one-on-one professional business counseling and networking opportunities online for the community, information about outside vendor marketplaces in RI from April through November, as well as introduced online support for the vendors to create and promote e-commerce to help small businesses survive. 


Providence Residents to Shop Local ahead of Small Business Saturday

Mayor Jorge O. Elorza and the Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau, Stephen White, co-owner of Res American Bistro, Julia Broome, owner of Kin Southern Table + Bar, Sandra Enos, founder and CEO of Giving Beyond the Box, and community members to encourage Providence residents to shop local ahead of Small Business Saturday, to be observed this year on November 27. In contrast to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday is meant to inspire support of local brick and mortar spaces, as well as local online businesses.

“The pandemic forced many industries to adapt and show resiliency amidst uncertainty,” said Mayor Jorge O. Elorza. “Providence’s small business community has triumphed, finding new ways to thrive and provide for our community. This holiday season, I want to remind residents that by shopping and dining local, you’re supporting local, so be sure visit the small businesses that make us the Creative Capital.” 

This year, the City reemphasizes its locally owned restaurants as spaces to remember during the holiday shopping season.  As residents begin to navigate the new normal, it is even more important to support local by safely returning to restaurants, diners, and cafes, to reconnect with family, friends, and colleagues.

And don’t worry about paying for parking while shopping. Earlier this year, the City of Providence announced efforts to encourage local commerce, including free two-hour parking exclusively in commercial districts from 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM daily through December 31, 2021. On October 1, the City announced its expansion of the program citywide through the end of 2021.


Buy Local RI

The holiday season is looking bright this year. It’s time to start planning some fun. Buy Local RI is your source for neighborhood holiday markets, festive family events, shopping strolls and more throughout Rhode Island.

And, by keeping it local, you’re supporting Rhode Island’s small businesses — your friends and neighbors. This website has searchable information by items, fairs, locations, etc. and is a great resource throughout this shopping season –



Remember – many crafts people and artisans – and small retail shops are accessible on – so if you want to combine “buy local” with “shop online” – go for it – search for Rhode Island.


Other Shopping Events:

Eat, Drink RI Holiday Market

With artists and craftspeople vendors alongside the local food, all under the Blackbird Farm Farm Stand Tent at the corner of Douglas Pike and Limerock Road. The Christmas trees will have arrived and GottaQ BBQ has their trailer serving food there as well. Participants include:

· Beautiful Day
· Blackbird Farm Farm Stand
· GottaQ Smokehouse BBQ
· Hopkins Southdowns
· Kathryns Kreations
· Kerryn’s Crafts
· Naturally Vermont Labrecque’s Maple Syrup
· Pat’s Hats and More
· Pepper Junction
· Red Hare Furniture Restoration Boutique
· Red, White & Brewed
· Sweet Saydi
· Ten Lives Cat Rescue


Small Works Holiday Show at HeARTspot: “Sip and Shop” Gallery Opening

Saturday, November 27th from 11am to 4pm at HeARTspot Art Gallery, 1970 Pawtucket Avenue, in
East Providence.

Join HeARTspot Ar Center and Gallery for a special “Sip and Shop” Gallery Opening  on Small Business Saturday, November 27th from 11-4. Find something for everyone on your list! Locally created original art works are priced at rates for affordable gift giving. No need to wait to take work home – they’ll wrap it for you to go or hold it for you if you prefer. In addition to the wonderful offerings in our gallery, there is a wide variety of local artisan work available in our gift shop and there will be a tree adorned with locally made ornaments for sale. Sip on beverages, have a little snack, and enjoy shopping local this holiday season. Featured artists in the gallery:

Wendy Anctil
Rachel Brask
Michael Doyle
Camille Gregorian
John Hunter Housley
Donna Kirwan
Roger Lemelin
Elizabeth Martinez
Karen McCann
Joseph Mushipi
Ronna Pate
Irene Pellegrino
Jean Poole
Christopher Sanders
Melissa Linhares Spurr
Caitlin Tripp
Mark Wholey Featured Gift Shop Artists: Julie Andreoni
Mike Bryce
Jennifer Gillooly Cahoon
Joanne DeLomba
Bob Eggleton
Mike Fournier
John Gieg
Ann-Marie Lafrenaye
Krzysztof Mathews
Daniel Patrick
Marianne Plumridge
Alexandra Quigley
Patty Grace Thomas

By the way, over 11% of us plan to spend “absolutely nothing” this Christmas season. That’s always an option. Or, write that beautiful letter, do some craft, make jelly or baked goods – or give a contribution. We’ll suggest one of our favorite, local charities – Project Undercover.

Project Undercover aims to meet the emergency needs of 20,000 kids by supplying 1,000,000 diapers and 180,000 pairs of underwear and socks every year. Begun by a local businessman in 1992, the group gives diapers, and other necessities to those in need. Items are delivered locally to families in need. For those who want to make a direct impact that will be felt almost immediately, get in touch with them – or make a donation online:


Coming up Monday? Cyber Monday. Many vendors have their pre-cyber items on sale, but no doubt, browsing now for that shop til your fingers freeze up day starts – now.

Giving Tuesday

Tuesday, November 30th is a worldwide celebration of generosity. GivingTuesday is an opportunity for people around the world to come together through generosity in all its forms by sharing acts of kindness and giving their voice, time, money, goods, and advocacy to support communities and causes. Pick a charity – include them on your holiday gift list.

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