This seasonal greeting comes from hometown merchants: Don't be in thrall to the mall.
They're spreading the word via social media and window signs with help from American Express, organizer of the second annual Small Business Saturday on Nov. 26. The credit card issuer promotes a nationwide "day dedicated to supporting small businesses on one of the busiest shopping weekends," it explains on its website. "We’re asking millions of Americans to 'shop small' at their favorite local stores and help fuel the economy. When we all shop small, it will be huge."
The firm puts money where its promotion is by offering a one-time $25 rebate to shoppers spending at least $25 at a small business after registering their credit card here. Any non-franchised, locally owned shop qualifies if it accepts American Express.
This year, Brighton business owners banded together to create their own brand to promote shopping locally. The video was organized by Owner Barb Binkley, who directed and produced, with the help of George Moses, owner of the Marketeer - an indexed shopping directory of Livingston County businesses, who wrote and narrated and owner Kirt Albrecht who recorded and edited.
Binkley's husband Mark Binkley, Chariman of the Brighton Principal Shopping District (PSD), said the idea for the video came to Barb after reading something that Moses wrote several years ago in the Marketeer about what small businesses mean to a community.
Mark Binkley said that the video adds a personal touch by matching faces with the local businesses.
"I think so many people get so wrapped up in the malls and big box stores and really when you sit down and look at who is doing the business, who is supporting the community, who really works hard and does things better - better quality, better service and more cases than not, better prices - it's the independent store, it's the small business," he said.
The Brighton PSD is also coordinating advertising to generate awareness of the local small businesses.
Starting Monday, half of two electronic billboards - one on Westbound I-96 at Beck Road and northbound US-23 and one at Whitmore Lake Road will sport the message, "Shop Downtown Brighton," according to Binkley.
The other half will advertise for a local merchant.
"It allows merchants to be able to get some reduced rates on the billboards they normally couldn't afford," Binkley said.
Businesses you can frequent in support of the small business movement in Brighton include:
Toys, children stores
Photography, art galleries, framing
Clothing, accessories retailers