Small Business Saturday is this coming Saturday, Nov. 28 – and the City of Fairfax is showcasing its small businesses with a citywide Elf Hunt. But this year, instead of hiding the elf inside their stores, business owners will incorporate them into their storefront window displays.
Each participating business will have an elf and QR code displayed in their window, and the code can be scanned to verify the elf was “found.” The code also links to those businesses’ Websites and will provide ways to support them online, plus information on specials.
Residents and visitors will have from Nov. 28 through Sunday, Dec. 13, to find 10 or more elves. People doing so will have their names entered into a drawing for a chance to win one of five $100 gift cards to the Fairfax City business of their choice.
“Because of the pandemic, Small Business Saturday is more important than ever,” said Assistant Economic Development Director Danette Nguyen. “While this day brings attention to the importance of shopping local, it has never been more needed.”
“Supporting small businesses is about supporting our communities,” said Nguyen. “We urge everyone to get out to shop and dine at City businesses. And when residents do that, they help ensure the survival of our City’s small business community and directly impact City neighborhoods.”
SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY is celebrated annually on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Founded by American Express, it’s a nationwide event that began in 2010 to encourage people to patronize their local, neighborhood businesses and bring more holiday customers to them.
Fairfax City is participating for its second year. Its Office of Economic Development and Economic Development Authority are partnering on this effort with the Central Fairfax Chamber of Commerce and the Old Town Fairfax Business Assn.
The City’s traditional, hard-copy Elf Hunt cards will be available for those who visit participating businesses in person, since many will be offering in-store specials for the day. These cards will list the businesses; and after each in-store visit, the business will stamp the card confirming the customer’s elf find.
The cards will be available at Fairfax City’s welcome station, this Saturday, from 10 a.m.-noon, at Old Town Square, 10415 North St. There, people may also pick up morning treats and hot cocoa and receive a free Small Business Saturday canvas tote, stickers and more.
Stressing the importance of shopping local during a time when many small businesses are hurting, Central Fairfax Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jennifer Rose said her organization is “happy to once again partner with Fairfax City’s Office of Economic Development to encourage patronizing our local businesses and bringing our businesses and community together.”
“Our businesses in Old Town have invested in our community and support our activities.” added Old Town Fairfax Business Assn. Executive Director Shannon Duffy, “We are here to support them; they are our champions.”
THIS IS AN OUTDOOR EVENT, but visitors who’ve been diagnosed with COVID-19, are awaiting test results or show any symptoms of the virus are asked to stay home. To ensure the health and safety of the public, the Fairfax City Economic Development Office will be implementing comprehensive COVID-19 protocols to mitigate the spread of the virus.
There’ll be temporal temperature checks upon entering a store, plus limited occupancy, and attendees are asked to wear face coverings. Hand sanitizer will be available, social distancing between patrons will be required, and the entrances and exits will be monitored for one-way traffic.
For more information about Fairfax City’s Small Business Saturday Elf Hunt, go to https://fairfaxcityconnected.com/2020/10/city-wide-elf-hunt-in-fairfax-city/.