Oxford’s small businesses are gearing up for the year’s biggest shopping weekend with Black Friday and Small Business Saturday marketplaces.
Local small business sellers are setting up shop at Tammy’s Hair Gallery in preparation for one of the year’s largest sales days at the Women of Worth and Excellence’s Black Friday and Small Business Saturday Market.
The Oxford Square Alliance is bringing a night of Christmas joy to the Square with a visit from Santa and the Oxford Civic Chorus, as well as the lighting of the holly tree.
“Small companies have been the lifeblood of America,” said Tammy Herod, a local entrepreneur and owner of Tammy’s Hair Gallery. “People are going to go out shopping anyhow, so why not support small businesses and individuals attempting to market things that are not available in stores? The big-box businesses will have specials, but so will these individuals.”
Small companies make a major contribution to the local economy and are vital to its success. According to the United States Small Business Association, the country is home to 32.5 million small companies. Small enterprises account for 99.3 percent of all businesses in Mississippi.
The last couple of years have been difficult for small companies owing to the COVID-19 epidemic, but they have persevered with the help and affection of their neighbors.
After gorging themselves with Thanksgiving turkey, stuffing, and pie, locals may head down to the gorgeously adorned Square and buy at small shops at the Square Alliance’s Black Friday event on Friday, Nov. 26.
“I want it to seem like a Dickens village, and it does,” Alderman Mark Huelse explained. “It’s a lovely time when you’re out there on these special weekends, with Santa on the Square one weekend and carriage rides the next.”
Huelse acknowledges the OSA, the Oxford-Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, and Visit Oxford with extending the Christmas season from November 1 and contributing to the season’s magical quality.
“We now have more resources and financing to stretch across numerous weekends,” Huelse explained. “It’s more of a season-long celebration than a single day, and we’re ecstatic about it.”
Santa will be delivered to the Square by the Oxford Fire Department and will be available to celebrate the Christmas cheer with anybody on the Oxford City Hall square from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. From 4:30 to 6 p.m., the Oxford Civic Chorus will sing Christmas songs on the steps of city hall.
If greeting Santa and listening to music isn’t enough to get you in the Christmas spirit, stay for the 6 p.m. lighting of the holly tree.
Huelse invites everyone to come down, enjoy the lights, and peruse the stores for special bargains. Locals are guaranteed to find something with the variety of stores and companies.
Want to shop on the outskirts of the Square? Women of Worth and Excellence will conduct a Black Friday and Small Business Saturday market at Tammy’s Hair Gallery, 2508 University Avenue, on Friday from 12 to 6 p.m. and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“This is my first Black Friday-Small Business Saturday market,” Tammy explained. “Through this market, they are able to touch the lives of individuals with their talents and ideas that they would not have met otherwise since diverse members of the community come in.”
The market will feature sellers such as Timber Heard of Talitha Kumi Jewelry and Handbags and Tanisha Bankston, author of “My Pain is My Power,” among others, who are looking to capitalize on one of the year’s greatest sales weekends and connect with the community.
Jessica Willingham of Jess Make It Sparkle, Audra Cooper of Dee’s Alternation and Creations, Ernestine Hillard of Mary Kay and Scentsy, Tamra Johnson of A+ Gifts Emporium, and Pam Boga of The Fry Queen are among the more vendors. Herod will be offering pre-packaged gift boxes ideal for family and friends.
Small sellers lack the resources that large vendors or big-box businesses do, Herod explained. Shopping locally supports local businesses and keeps them in the Lafayette County-Oxford-University area.