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Natural Awakenings Twin Cities

Make Plans to Shop Local this Holiday Season

Small business is the backbone of our local and national economy. Two national programs were created to promote local businesses for shopping over Thanksgiving weekend and there will be local craft fairs and other shopping opportunities taking place as well.

Plaid Friday is a network of local, independent businesses joining together to support small businesses. Started in Oakland, California, a few years ago, this tradition encourages consumers to put their holiday gift dollars back into the local economy by shopping at stores in their own communities on the day after Thanksgiving.

On November 26, Small Business Saturday is a day dedicated to supporting small businesses nationwide. Sponsored by American Express, FedEx and Clear Channel Communications, the event mobilizes over 100 million people to shop small in their communities.

Customers will find special offers at many small business locations throughout the area. Encouraging friends and family to spread the word and shop at small businesses helps boost the local economy—when the community “shops small,” money stays in the community. By choosing healthy and green local products, our welfare and environment also benefit.

Business owners can visit AmericanExpress.com/us/small-business/shopsmall to download free marketing materials, qualify for free online advertising and read small business success stories.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5

Nature Arts and Crafts Fair – 10am-3pm. Local artisans and crafters of jewelry, felting, painting, natural beauty products and more. Enjoy this 1000-acre park reserve with a hike after shopping or relax in rocking chairs overlooking backyard bird feeders. Free. Richardson Nature Center, 8737 E Bush Lake Rd, Bloomington. ThreeRiversParks.org.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12

MN Christmas Market – 1-7pm. The VOICE Community and StormSister Spatique host this holiday market with both indoor and outdoor shopping, featuring the MN Maker's Movement. Free. Lake Monster Brewing, 550 Vandalia St, #160, St Paul. Facebook.com/mnChristmasMarket.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19

Green Gifts Fair – 10am-5pm. Shop over 80 eco-vendors for green, upcycled, recycled, fair trade and organic gifts. Food vendors, crafts, music and more. $1. Midtown Global Market, 920 E Lake St, Minneapolis. DoItGreen.org.

Minneapolis Craft'za – 10am-4pm. Art market for handmade goods, food trucks and more. Free. Grain Belt Bottling House, 79 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis. Craftza.com.

Waldorf Holiday Fair and Artisan Marketplace – 10am-4pm. Seasonal activities for all ages, including entertainment, children’s activities, shopping, food and more. Free. 651-487-6700. Waldorf School, 70 E County Rd B, St Paul. mnWaldorf.org.

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