This year's events also include passport raffle, downtown stroll and ornament decorating for kids

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FARMINGTON — Farmington’s downtown corridor is celebrating small locally owned businesses Saturday in the annual Small Business Saturday and Downtown Stroll from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on a several-block stretch of West Main Street. 

The annual event functions as a way to draw attention to small and local businesses as the holidays approach, according to Michael Bulloch, event organizer and downtown coordinator for the city of Farmington.

“Big-box stores get a lot of the press with Black Friday and even now Amazon and all those kinds of (online retailers) with the Cyber Monday thing coming on,” Bulloch said while decorating the Complete Streets headquarters at 119 W. Main on Tuesday. “… But the biggest economic driver in the country is small businesses. The majority of our economy is driven by small businesses, and if we forget about small businesses, particularly in this time, we’re kind of hurting ourselves.”

Farmington’s downtown has participated in Small Business Saturday for several years, and this year’s event has several additions, including a passport game and raffle drawing.

More than a dozen local businesses are participating in the passport program, in which customers who make a qualifying purchase of approximately $20 will receive a stamp for a passport provided by Bulloch that can be picked up at any participating business. When customers gather five stamps in their passports, they can turn them in to any of the participating businesses, and their passport will act as a raffle ticket for prizes donated by the businesses.

The passport program will run through Dec. 23, when the city’s Main Street Project staff will select a winner, Bulloch said.

 

“The cool thing is, you have to spend a little money to maybe win something, so it’s a win-win for the merchants and for the people that want to participate,” Bulloch said. 

Many downtown businesses also will have ornament-coloring stations for shoppers who bring their kids along. Ornament makers can elect to take their creations home or leave them for the business to display, Bulloch said.

Small Business Saturday includes an art walk event Bulloch is calling a Downtown Stroll, in which at least 19 businesses will have artists displaying their work, or have special deals or events throughout the day.

For example, the Busy Bee Art, Yoga and Craft Studio will host a yoga and mimosas class at 10 a.m. and will have special promotions at the shop throughout the day, according to Bulloch. The Wal Art Gallery will host musician Eric Campbell, as well as Wines of the San Juan and Tacos El Ray, which will be selling wine and tacos. The gallery also will host a live, remote broadcast from KRWN classic rock radio from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Other businesses will present special displays and local and regional artists working in a variety of media. 

Today’s event marks the beginning of the holiday seasonal hours, too. Bulloch said he suggested downtown businesses extend their weekday hours to 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and weekend hours from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. through Dec. 23 to accommodate holiday shoppers.

Megan Petersen covers business and education for The Daily Times. Reach her at 505-564-4621 or mpetersen@daily-times.com. 

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