Shop Local: Businesses gear up for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday

Published 2:50 pm Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Local businesses in Oxford are preparing for the biggest sales weekend of the year with Black Friday and Small Business Saturday markets. 

“Small businesses are what have kept America alive,” said Tammy Herod, local entrepreneur and owner of Tammy’s Hair Gallery. “People are going to be out shopping anyway, so why not shop with small businesses and people who are trying to market their items that are not in stores. The big-box stores have deals but so will these people as well.”

Small businesses contribute significantly and are critical to the local economy. According to the U.S. Small Business Association, the nation has 32.5 million small businesses in operation. In Mississippi, 99.3% of business in the state is conducted by small businesses.

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The past couple years have been tough on small businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but they continued to push through with the support and love from locals.

After filling up on Thanksgiving turkey, stuffing and pie, residents can make their way down to the beautifully decorated Square and shop amongst small businesses during the Square Alliance Black Friday event hosted by the Oxford Square Alliance on Friday, Nov. 26. 

“Somebody said, ‘I want it to feel like a Dickens’ village,’ and it really does,” said Alderman Mark Huelse. “When you’re out there on these special weekends, with Santa on the Square on one weekend and carriage rides on another, it’s a magical time.”

Huelse credits the OSA, Oxford-Lafayette Chamber of Commerce and Visit Oxford for extending the holiday season from the beginning of November and helping make this season even more magical.

“We have more resources and more funding to spread across multiple weekends,” said Huelse. “It’s really a season-long celebration versus just a single day and we’re really excited about it.”

The Oxford Fire Department will deliver Santa onto the Square and he will be waiting to share the holiday spirit with anyone on the Oxford City Hall plaza from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. The Oxford Civic Chorus will stand on the steps of city hall and perform Christmas carols from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

If meeting Santa and listening to singing isn’t giving you enough of the holiday spirit, stick around for the lighting of the holly tree at 6 p.m.

Huelse encourages everyone to come down, enjoy the lights and visit all the shops to see what deals they have to offer. With so many types of stores and businesses, locals are sure to find something.

Want to shop off the Square? Women of Worth and Excellence are hosting this Black Friday and Small Business Saturday Market at Tammy’s Hair Gallery located on 2508 University Avenue from 12 to 6 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

“This is the first Black Friday-Small Business Saturday market that I’ve held,” said Tammy Herod, local entrepreneur and owner of Tammy’s Hair Gallery. “With this market, they get to touch people’s lives with their gifts and their ideas that they would not have normally ever met because you have different people from the community come in.”

The market will feature vendors like Timber Heard of Talitha Kumi Jewelry and Handbags and Tanisha Bankston, author of “My Pain is My Power,” and more who want to take advantage of one of the biggest sales weekends of the year and reach out to the community. 

Other vendors include Jessica Willingham of Jess Make It Sparkle, Audra Cooper of Dee’s Alternation and Creations, Ernestine Hillard with Mary Kay and Scentsy, Tamra Johnson of A+ Gifts Emporium and Pam Boga of The Fry Queen. Herod will be selling pre-packaged gift boxes that are perfect for families and loved ones.

Small vendors do not have as many resources as big vendors or big-box stores, said Herod. Shopping small will keep businesses going and keep them in the Lafayette County-Oxford-University community.

“Having a connection is what’s important,” said Herod. “That’s what keeps businesses going.”