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RIPLEY • Every time you shop at a local boutique, pick up a coffee or tea from your favorite neighborhood restaurant or buy from a local artist online or at a craft show, you are shopping small and making a difference, not only for the shop owner but the community.

You have a unique opportunity to support local businesses in Ripley this weekend during Shop Small Saturday, sponsored by Ripley Main Street. Shops throughout the town will be open, with many offering discounts for the holiday weekend. There will also be pop-up shops on the square from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

To reserve a pop-up shop spot, contact Ripley Main Street on Facebook or call 662-815-0021. There is a $5 fee to set up.

Shop Small Saturday, also known as Small Business Saturday, is held nationally on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. American Express created the event in 2010 to encourage people to shop at locally owned businesses in their community.

“It’s important now more than ever to shop local and support our small businesses because it strengthens our community and future growth,” said Ripley Main Street Director Elizabeth Behm. “You are supporting friends and family. Your tax dollars will stay local and reenter the community. When a small local business owner becomes a success, it encourages other people to invest in the community and become local entrepreneurs.”  

According to American Express’ website, “62% of U.S. small businesses reported that they need to see consumer spending return to pre-COVID levels by the end of 2020 in order to stay in business.* When you Shop Small® this holiday season – and all year long – you can help create a big impact.”

Main Street has several activities planned throughout the day Saturday for shoppers to enjoy. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Christmas crafts will be set up outside of the Tippah County Historical Museum, and children can have their picture taken with Santa on the square.

“Santa will keep his distance from the kids in the picture,” said Behm. “We want to encourage everyone to wear their masks even though we will be outdoors.”  

New this year is a Turkey Trot (a one-mile fun run and 5K run/wark) organized by the Ripley Cross Country team. The Turkey Trot will begin and end on the square.

“The idea came from two of my runners, Kate Ward and Reese Shelton, as a fundraiser for my team,” said Coach Emory Kirk. “A turkey trot is a traditional race in some places. It’s just a great way to share the holidays with your community and family. It will start at 8:30 a.m. with a fun run followed by a 5K run at 9 a.m.  We hope that runners will also enjoy our cute downtown shops and atmosphere.”

For more information about Shop Small Saturday or any of the scheduled events, contact Ripley Main Street at 662-512-0226.

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