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Shopping Showdown: Black Friday vs. Small Business Saturday

Where's your loyalty, Novato?

Shoppers, let’s boil it down to one question: Are you an uber-caffeinated Black Friday suburban assault shopper or a root-for-the-underdog No Big Box boutique shopper?

The day after Thankgiving has become a commerce holiday known as Black Friday, and this Saturday is Small Business Saturday, a nationwide campaign to support locally owned businesses in our communities. Vote in our poll — Big Business vs. Small Business? — and explain why you feel that way by adding a comment. While you’re add it, give us a wish list of businesses Novato could use.

One way or another, some of the dollars you spend trick down to support your local government. And that’s why city and business leaders in Novato hope you will resist the urge to head out of town. Sales tax generated this holiday season at local businesses will result in the city’s ability to offer recreation programs, run the Margaret Todd Senior Center, maintain our street medians and pay for protection from our police force among many other services. If you spend your dollars in San Rafael, Petaluma or beyond, you’re doing nothing to support your own community.

For the sake of local pride, Novato Patch urges you to spend your dollars right here in town.

Michael Siskin November 25, 2011 at 05:25 AM
I didn't like the visual representation of the big box by showing the Vintage Oaks signage. I am a small business within Vintage Oaks. The big box stores help drive traffic to increase our business and hence tax contributions.Our tax revenue DOES go directly to the city of Novato along with our regular donations to schools, religious organizations and charity events.
Mac Gruber November 25, 2011 at 03:57 PM
You are far too rational for this town Michael. Our groupthink will shield us from your initial comments, but please refrain from making anymore. You must feel the guilt and shame of suggesting that "box stores" like small businesses have their place in the overall makeup of modern commerce.
Andrea Swetland November 25, 2011 at 04:33 PM
Since you are so judgmental Mac I need to ask - "have you never shopped at a box store"? At least Michael is realistic enough to know that in today's society we already have both and what we can hope to relay to people is to do their part and frequent the small business as much as possible. Whether it's convenience, variety or affordability our society could not and would not function without the "box stores" it's a reality you have to be honest about.
Mac Gruber November 25, 2011 at 04:52 PM
Andrea, I would only ask that you read my comment once more. I am sorry that the sarcasm was lost in translation. It is unfortunate that my comments could actually be taken literally.
Worry November 25, 2011 at 04:53 PM
Umm.. I think Michael & Mac are on the same page Andrea.
Lynne Wasley November 25, 2011 at 05:43 PM
Though tempted at midnight last night, I didn't line up at Target for their ultra super duper specials. Instead, I'll be doing most of my holiday shopping in downtown Novato and will also be supporting on-line "fair trade" products. Whatever I spend (I'm on a limited budget) I always make sure that at least 50% goes to charitable causes/organizations. Being a smaller or larger business doesn't inherently make one a better or worse company, but local downtown businesses do tend to do a better job supporting their community, offer at least some products not made by 'slave' labor or with environmental toxins, pay their employees something closer to a living wage/health insurance, etc. I like Vintage Oaks as much as anyone, but I do try to put my money where my values are.
oblio November 25, 2011 at 06:59 PM
I would rather gouge my eyes out with hot pokers than shop ANYWHERE on Black Friday. Online shopping. That's why they made the Internet!
c.richards November 26, 2011 at 07:18 PM
No parking = no shopping.
Mrs. C November 26, 2011 at 08:19 PM
Exactly! I would love to be able to run down there and shop, but finding a parking space can be difficult to say the least so I tend to avoid it at all costs. Not worth the frustration.
Steven Norwin November 27, 2011 at 12:06 AM
I was headed downtown but couldn't find a single parking space after driving around for 10+ minutes. I ended up at Pini's like everyone else were there's plenty of parking. They were busy!!!
Craig Belfor November 27, 2011 at 12:41 AM
I remember that the year that Novato Office Supply was named business of the year by the chamber of commerce, based on their community involvement, hiring of local students, sponsorship of local sports teams, and donations to local charitable groups. That same year Staples opened and charged about less. Novato Office Supply went under when all the people who loved a small, locally owned, locally involved store abandoned them for the cheaper big box store. Most people are hypocrites.
Worry November 27, 2011 at 01:03 AM
I am not in the camp that there is currently a parking problem downtown. I am fine with walking 50 feet to a block or two to visit downtown businesses. However, you can thank the city council & the chamber for the huge catatrosphe that downtown city offices will bring.. The downtown city office plan includes 60 spaces for 66 employees. The offices will be open 4 days per week & the city's visitor study states 113 people will visit offices daily. These 113 visitors will take up parking spots for the public downtown. At night & on the weekends the 60 car city lot will be occupied with city vehicles & police vehicles. This city office project initself is a huge problem & will create a huge parking problem downtown... BUT WAIT... THERE IS MORE... The 300 seat, two screen Novato Theater will reopen soon. The 999 Grant 20,000 sq foot office/restaurant/retail project will open within a year. This is made up of 7,500 sq ft of restaurant space & 12,500 ft of retail/office space. Chipolte Grill services an average of 300 customers per day. Trek WInery is coming along nicely, this project will draw many locals downtown daily. Do the math here Novato!! Just these 4 new projects will generate over 1,000 new car trips per day. The city council has not included any of this in to their "studies". Hello Novato!! If you think there is a parking problem now?!?! Check back in ONE year! City offices won't revitalize downtown..they will destroy it's potential.
David Edmondson November 30, 2011 at 04:51 AM
Alas, I live elsewhere but every Christmas when I come home to San Anselmo I browse around downtown for gifts. San Rafael also gets business, although I should probably expand my horizons a bit to Fairfax, too. Big box? I only went to Border's, but I'll order my books through the Booksmith this year.

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