In conjunction with Small Business Saturday on November 25th, the Maryland Department of Commerce encourages Maryland residents to explore their neighborhoods and support local businesses. Show us how you shop small on Twitter with #ShopSmall and #BuyLocalMD @MDBiz.
It's never too early to start your holiday shopping! With Small Business Saturday quickly approaching, let Maryland's small towns and local businesses help ease you into the gift-giving season.
No matter where you live, each Maryland region has a plethora of neighborhoods participating in the #ShopSmall trend. In fact, the Kauffman Index recently ranked Maryland's Main Street entrepreneurship sixth among the top 25 larger states – meaning the number of small businesses established and thriving in Maryland is growing.
Here are our top picks for Small Business Saturday around Maryland.
More than 40 small businesses are participating in a local community fair at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring. Admission is free and includes access to arts and crafts, face painting for the kids, a gift-wrapping station, and more. Bring the kids to the shops along Bethesda Row, where a Kidville play area will be set up for children ages 6 and under. A holiday vendor fair is also taking place at the Mall at Prince George's from 10AM – 8PM.
Drive to Maryland's capital and attend the opening day of HERE, a holiday pop-up shop in Annapolis. Local designers are ready to show off their unique collections to the Small Business Saturday shoppers. The Sykesville Holiday Marketplace also takes place on Saturday, with nearly 200 vendors at the Carroll County Farm Museum. Or, head north to the small businesses of downtown Bel Air, where dozens of shops are celebrating the unofficial holiday. Tip: prepare for your shopping spree by participating in a Charm City Run – taking place in Frederick, Fells Point, and everywhere in-between.
Grab a bite by the water in St. Michaels, where you can shop, eat, play, and stay all day long. Downtown Chestertown is helping shoppers by handing out shopping passports with special store offers. Princess Anne in Somerset County is also getting into the mix – the transformative town participated in Small Business Saturday for the first time last year, and plans to host specials again next week. Tip: fun for the entire family can be found at Salisbury's City Park ice skating rink!
One of the region's strongest Small Business Saturday showings comes from the La Plata Business Association. Now an annual tradition, it's the town's favorite shopping day of the year. In St. Mary's County, the Flat Iron Farm Christmas Village kicks off next week. Located in Great Mills, there's plenty to see and buy, including a petting zoo, candy cane house, country stores, handmade crafts, and jellies and jams. Finish the night off with the annual tree lighting ceremony in Leonardtown.
Cumberland's holiday market is kicking off with local artisans and handmade items in the galleries on Centre Street. Washington County's artisan market – featuring local farmers and crafters – is taking place at the Premium Outlets of Hagerstown. Frostburg's citywide promotion offers prizes, freebies, and special discounts throughout the downtown shops. Finish the night off with Lights by the Lake at Rocky Gap State Park, a synchronized music and light show with more than 150,000 lights!
For previous years and even more suggestions, read through our Small Business Saturday archive.