FREMONT, Ohio — Black Friday, the official start of the holiday shopping season, is one week away. But many locally-owned small businesses want customers to start their local holiday shopping now.
"I say this is a great way to get your shopping done during the holidays," Downtown Fremont Executive Director Kristie Bilger said. "But it's also really to solidify that relationship with your local people. That they matter, and that you appreciate them in giving to community events and things like that."
The recently-opened Joni's Boutique was happy to participate.
Owner Joni Hasselbach said supporting a locally-owned business over shopping at a national chain also supports the community.
"We're the backbone of America," Hasselbach said. "And it helps our own community grow and thrive. So, if you're coming in here you're getting your gas here and you're eating at the restaurants around here, it just helps your whole city grow."
Another participant, The Open House, hosts products from more than 50 local vendors. And owner Jennifer Lott said buying a locally-made product or artisan good supports that small business owner's dream.
"A lot of these people, it's their passion to make these items," Lott said. "And when they see it in a store it makes them so happy. When people come and shop on Pink Friday, they're supporting local people, not just big business."
The Pink Friday initiative is just the kickoff for the holiday season in Downtown Fremont.
Next Friday will be its official tree-lighting ceremony. And then, next Saturday will be the Small Business Saturday event.
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