On Saturday, a shopper might be able to bang the drum slowly, sample some sushi, get a physical workout, purchase just that ring or try on an ostrich feather hat at a local business.
More than 100 local businesses have signed up to participate in Small Business Saturday, a local shopping promotion supported by American Express. Local music stores, florists, restaurants, hardware stores, clothing boutiques, fitness centers, even accountants, landscapers and pediatricians are on the list.
The goal is to remind shoppers that there a wealth of good, attractive local businesses they could patronize.
Hillsborough has 1,800 small businesses, said Gene Strupinsky, business advocate for Hillsborough Township.
“Many are the mom-and-pop variety,” he said.
An issue, he said, is that the township’s shopping district is spread out along Route 206, a state highway, without a true center. While that is a condition the township hopes to correct as it moves forward on its town center concept as the Route 206 bypass is built, at present there is no opportunity to promote a single Hillsborough shopping district.
“We can’t close Route 206” to promote a local event, Strupinsky said.
Such efforts as the Small Business Saturday provide an opportunity to highlight local merchants as a community, he said.
Maria Scerbo, owner of Haute, a woman’s fashion boutique in Hillsborough Promenade, jumped at the chance to join Small Business Saturday.
When a friend asked her about the promotion, she quickly downloaded the promotional materials, she said.
The local shops provide more personal service, and a targeted selection of goods that is developed by knowing their customers, she said.
We asked ourselves, “What are you wearing? What will you be wearing next?” she said.
Kevin Sweeney, owner of Bentley’s Fine Jewelers, said his store’s ability to repair jewelry at the store is the type of service that a local shop provides that a large chain might not, even something as simple as sizing a ring.
He said some of that repair business comes from customers who purchased jewelry at the nearby national chain, which does not handle repairs locally."
Sweeney said personal service and a select collection of jewelry allows him to compete in the marketplace.
But the national chains, through their extensive advertising, offer the locally owned stores opportunities as well, he said. Their promotions of holiday sales and special events like Black Friday fill the parking lots.
The shoppers in the those lots are also local shoppers, and take the time to visit shops like his, Sweeney said.
The following is a list of some of the Hillsborough businesses listed as participating by American Express on their Shop Small map:206 FARMERS MARKET AGOSTINOS HAIR PLUS ALATAE MEDICAL LLC ALBERT E INTERNOSCIA DMD ALFONSOS AMWELL AUTO & TIRE CENTER AUDIO PROS HOME & CAR LLC AURENE WOLF DMD MSD B FIT 4 U LLC BAKER'S TREAT BEAUTY SOLUTIONS BIG BANG MUSIC CENTER BODYSHOP TOTAL FITNESS BRITTNEY BRAY BEYOND THE FRINGE HAIR DESIGNS BURNT HILL ROAD SPORTS CAFE GRAZIELLA CATERED AFFAIR DELICATTES CENTRAL JERSEY NURSERIES CHABAD JEWISH CENTER OF G CORINA'S CONFECTIONS CR DIGITAL DESIGN, INC. 2011 CREATIVE HYDROPONICS CROSSFIT CROWN CAR WASH II CULINARY CREATIONS DAVES COMPUTERS INC DEEP IMPACT PRO CORP DEMBA & ASSOC'S CPA DESI'S DESI'S BRICK OVEN PIZZA DISCA DIVINE INDIAN FOOD LLC DR JOHN R BROW DSIGND AFFAIRS ECUREFORLESS FAITHFUL COUNTERTOPS FARM BARN CAFE FITNESS ELITE FRED L KINGSBURY DC FRUITY YOGURT HAPI AUTO PARTS HILLSBOROUGH OPTCL S HILLSBOROUGH PEDIATRIC DENTISTRYWINN FELINE FOUNDATION HILLSBOROUGH PEDIATRICS P HU-LIFT ILIMO IN FASHION KIDS INDEPENDENT OVERHEAD DOOR CO. INC. INTERNATIONAL OMBUDSMAN A ISITC JES.N.W INC JOHN ZUNSKI JUMBO PALACE JUMP!ZONE KATHLEEN ACADEMY OF DANCE KING WING KOKO FITCLUB LEE'S SUSHI KITCHEN LIFE AQUATICS INC M W LANDSCAPE LLC MATSUBA JAPANSES RESTAUR MEMORY LANE MCCALLAN HEALTH LLC MICHAEL AMPONIN MICHAEL STROPPA D M D MIWE AMERICA LLC MRUDULA PINGILI DDS MTP PLUMBING AND HEATING NANCY'S DRY CLEANING VALE NEW JERSEY BUILDING MATER NEW JERSEY SLEEP SOCIETY, NEW JERSEY VETERINARY MED NEXT LEVEL ELECTRIC LLC SOMERSET PEDIATRIC GROUP ON THE RAMP MARINE TRANS OUR NATIONS CHILDREN LINGUISTI PAINT & DECORATING DEPOT PAUL M NOLL & SON INC PAULINE INEZ CORPORATI PREFERRED BATTERIES PRIME SKATE SHOP LLC QUIK RESPONSE TOWING REAL MAIDS REDLINE AUTO GROUP LLC RELAX TAX RENAISSANCE HAIR SALON RETRO FITNESS HILLSBOROUGH RICHARD M NADLER D M D, PA SOCIETY FOR MEDICAL DECIS T & C SEALCOATING LLC THE EXECUTION GROUP THE PLK LAW GROUP PC TASTE OF CRETE TOWN CENTRE FAMILY CARE TWIN OAKS LANDSCAPE DESIGN, LLC YALDEI SHLUCHEI HAREBBE