Ditch Amazon and the big guys at the mall and support your neighbors instead.
Each year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving we celebrate "Small Business Saturday" in the U.S.
"Small Business Saturday" was started by American Express back in 2010 as a way to encourage consumers to shop locally and support neighborhood businesses. It's part of the nationwide "Shop Small" campaign.
It's no secret that small businesses were hit hard during the pandemic. Small businesses generally operate on a very small profit margin even in good times, and the Portland metro area is particularly unforgiving for small businesses. Rents, utilities, and wages are all high relative to other areas of the country, and the city and county tax structure doesn't cut them any breaks.
If you're looking for some great options to support our local small businesses this weekend, here are some ideas to consider:
Take a walk down one of the small business corridors.
There are several streets in the city that have a plethora of small shops you can check out, each offering unique gift options. Park your car or ride your bike over to one of these small business corridors and do your shopping while you walk off your turkey dinner. Some great places to try:
- Division: Southeast Division between SE 26th and SE 39th
- Hawthorne: Southeast Hawthorne between SE 32nd and SE 44th
- Alberta: Northeast Alberta between NE 14th and NE 23rd
- Northwest: NW 23rd Avenue between NW Glisan and NW Lovejoy
- Sellwood: Southeast 13th between SE Malden and SE Umatilla
- Mississippi: North Mississippi between N Beech and N Mason
Check out a "Maker's Market".
The Portland Saturday Market is a long-time downtown Portland institution and is widely considered to be Portland's best Christmas shopping. Although it's scaled back due to the pandemic, you can still shop local vendors on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Other fun, and possibly less crowded, options include the Slabtown Makers Market in Northwest Portland and the Portland Night Market in the Central Eastside Industrial area. Like Portland Saturday Market, both these Makers Markets offer a variety of local artisans selling their handmade wares. Be sure to check their websites before you go for hours and admission information.
Other options to consider include Christmas bazaars at local churches and schools, and local artisans posting their sale items on sites like NextDoor, Facebook, or Craigslist.
Search for local options on bigger shopping sites.
If you're shopping on artisan sites like Etsy, Amazon Handmade, Redbubble, or Go Imagine, use the filters to select shops that are located nearby. For example, if you select "shops located in Portland, Oregon" on Etsy you'll see over 391,000 items for sale. Bonus: you won't have to worry about your holiday gifs getting stuck at a FedEx warehouse in Cleveland or someplace else far away.
What are your favorite places to shop local in the Portland area? Share your suggestions in the comments.