La Plata gears up for Small Busi­ness Satur­day

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By TIF­FANY WAT­SON twat­son@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @Tif­fIndyNews

After Thanks­giv­ing Day, many lo­cal shop­pers will pre­pare to tackle their fa- vorite stores for dis­counts and door-busters. But the shop­ping ex­trav­a­ganza doesn’t end there.

This week­end lo­cal res- idents are in for a treat when they at­tend the La Plata Busi­ness Associa- tion’s Shop La Plata on Small Busi­ness Satur­day event for more shop­ping, give­aways, hol­i­day cheer and a pa­rade.

On Nov. 26, the La Pla- ta Busi­ness As­so­ci­a­tion presents the third an­nual Shop La Plata event, which fea­tures spe­cial of- fers at par­tic­i­pat­ing busi- nesses and other ac­tivi- ties in the town. On Nov. 15, the Charles County Board of Com­mis­sion­ers pro­claimed Nov. 26 as Shop La Plata Day in cel­e­bra­tion of Small Busi­ness Satur­day, when res­i­dents are en­cour­aged to sup­port lo­cal busi­nesses and mer­chants.

“Shop La Plata is one of our sig­na­ture events for the busi­ness as­so­ci­a­tion,” said Keith Grasso, presi- dent of the La Plata Busi- ness As­so­ci­a­tion. “It high­lights in­de­pen­dent, lo­cal re­tail­ers and restau­rants in the town. Our goal is to bring the busi­ness and the shop­pers here to sup­port what’s in the county and also keep­ing it right here in the town.”

Stacy More­land, own- er of The Lit­tle Cor­ner Shoppe, is in charge of co­or­di­nat­ing this year’s Shop La Plata Day with more than 30 busi­ness- es par­tic­i­pat­ing and the first-ever pa­rade held dur­ing the event on La- Grange Av­enue.

“This year we’ve added a pa­rade that will be­gin at 9 a.m. and once the pa- rade ends, then the stores will open,” More­land said. “We have a pro­mo­tion that we’re do­ing called the Shop La Plata Pass­port where all of the par- tic­i­pat­ing busi­nesses will be listed in a pass­port and all of the shop­pers have to visit at least five of those shops, get their pass­port signed off and they are en­tered to win a $1,000 shop­ping spree right here in La Plata.”

More­land said dur­ing the pa­rade at­ten­dees will get to see the the county com­mis­sion­ers, the La Plata Fire Depart­ment’s fire truck fea­tur­ing Santa Claus, lo­cal Boy Scout troops and the La Plata High School JROTC. Grasso said his store, Is­land Mu­sic Com­pany, will even have some­one in the pa­rade dressed like a gui- tar.

“At my shop there will be a draw­ing for a bas­ket of good­ies,” More­land said. “Also, any par­ent can bring a child in to mail a let­ter to Santa and drop it in a spe­cial mailbox. If it’s in a self-ad­dressed stamped en­ve­lope, Santa will write the child back.”

More­land and Grasso said the La Plata Po­lice Depart­ment is putting to­gether a won­der­ful event of their own dur­ing Shop La Plata Day. The po­lice depart­ment is ask­ing for chil­dren 12 years old and younger to help them find a few Wanted Grinches around the town and take them into cus­tody.

“This year for Shop Small Satur­day, the La Plata Po­lice Depart­ment will be sup­ply­ing the La Plata Busi­ness As­so­ci­a­tion with sev­eral Grinch dolls,” Chief Carl Schin­ner said. “The busi­ness own­ers who re­ceive the dolls will place the Grinch doll some­where in one of their shops. A child under 12 years old who finds one of the Grinches and turns him in at the sta­tion will re­ceive a re­ward.”

Schin­ner said the po­lice depart­ment will be cir­cu­lat­ing Grinch Wanted Posters to lo­cal busi­nesses and post­ing in­tel­li­gence re­ports on the po­lice depart­ment’s Face­book page be­tween now and Satur­day.

“It’s just our way of sup­port­ing the La Plata Busi­ness As­so­ci­a­tion and it al­lows of­fi­cers to in­ter- act with lo­cal fam­i­lies in a pos­i­tive way,” Schin­ner said.

Grasso said since the busi­ness as­so­ci­a­tion latched onto the idea from Amer­i­can Ex­press three years ago, thou­sands have par­tic­i­pated in Shop La Plata ev­ery year with the streets in town of­ten packed with peo­ple.

“His­tor­i­cally the week­end after Thanks­giv­ing Day has been taken over by big box stores par­tic­i­pat­ing in Black Fri­day, peo­ple camp­ing out­side stores to get a new TV,” Grasso said. “While I ap­pre­ci­ate that, that doesn’t do any­thing for our lo­cal busi­nesses.”

Grasso said most in­de­pen­dent busi­nesses are un­able to open up their shops at 4 a.m. the day after Thanks­giv­ing like much larger busi­nesses may do. Small Busi­ness Satur­day al­lows the lo­cal busi­nesses a ben­e­fi­cial al­ter­na­tive.

“We want to bring peo­ple into the town to see what we have to of­fer and ring the cash reg­is­ters of our busi­nesses,” Grasso said. “Some of the busi­nesses can at­test to that day be­ing the high­est day of sales ever in their his­tory of be­ing open.”

For more in­for­ma­tion about Shop La Plata on Small Busi­ness Satur­day, call Keith Grasso at 301392-3960 or email keith@ is­land­mu­s­icco.com.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Stacy More­land, owner of The Lit­tle Cor­ner Shoppe in La Plata, and Keith Grasso, pres­i­dent of the La Plata Busi­ness As­so­ci­a­tion, hold the procla­ma­tion from the Charles County Board of Com­mis­sion­ers declar­ing Nov. 26 as Shop La Plata Day.

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