Johnson: ‘Small Shop Saturday’ offers many little extras for shoppers

When you spend a dollar at a locally owned business, you create $5 to $14 in value that goes right back into your community.

Here’s an interesting piece of information—did you know that when you spend a dollar at a locally owned business, you create $5 to $14 in value that goes right back into your community?

But when you spend $1 at a national chain or big box store, 80 per cent of it leaves your area.

It’s in this spirit that the ‘small shop’ movement was born.

Similar to the ‘local food’ movement, the philosophy is to contribute to the local economy, creating a more sustainable community.

The downtown Kelowna shopkeepers are keeping the spirit alive by presenting Small Shop Saturday downtown on Saturday, Dec. 17.

On that day, many of the downtown shops will be offering little extras that you just don’t find at the mass market stores—maybe cookies and hot chocolate at one spot, special one-day discounts and features at another, maybe free in-store gift-wrapping or a gift with purchase.

Each shop will have something unique to offer you, which makes for a day of fun surprises.

What a great, fun way to do your Christmas shopping!

You can check your favourite shop’s website or facebook page to find out what they’re offering that day.

We’re hoping to make Small Shop Saturdays a monthly event in 2012, so stay tuned for more details on future dates. Let’s keep it local!

Speaking of little extras downtown, did you know that the skating rink at Jim Stuart Park is now open for the season?

Here’s your chance to spend an afternoon with the kids (or just being a kid) with the perfect lakefront view.

Do remember to bring your own skates, since there is no skate rental facility at the park.

Once again, remember that Saturday parking is free in December at all parking meters and city-owned lots downtown.

With over 30 parking lots and two parkades, there’s a free parking spot waiting just for you.

The merchants of downtown are offering a free gift wrapping station in December, located at the Towne Centre Mall this year.

Just bring your gifts with receipts from any downtown shop, and your gift-wrapping worries will be over. Although it’s a free service, they will be accepting donations to the food bank.

If you like to help those less fortunate at Christmas, here are a few ideas.

You can choose a child from the Giving Tree, at Tigerlily (for the 20th year running). Bring back an unwrapped present for that child, and it will be  delivered to the Kelowna Women’s Resource Centre for their annual children’s Christmas party.

A very popular program every year, it’s a great way to spread some Christmas cheer to a child who is having a difficult time.

Gifts need to be returned by Dec. 17, so please come in soon if you want to participate in this worthwhile program.

If you’d like to be a Book Angel this year, drop into Mosaic Books or Tigerlily. Book Angels help Project Literacy to purchase new books for adults with low literacy skills who are working to become better readers.

It’s a very worthy organization which is based downtown and is struggling to keep going on very little funding.

Well, I hope I’ve been able to cover even half of what’s happening downtown this month. There’s so much to do and see that it’s hard to keep up with it all. I wish everyone a relaxed and joyful holiday season—see you in the New Year.

Jan Johnson has co-owned Tigerlily Fashions downtown for 25 years. If you have any news about downtown shop openings and/or events, please email them to her at


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