For Roz Creager, owner of the Plaza Bella shopping center and at Bloomingdale Avenue and Bell Shoals Road, shopping local means more than simply getting a good deal on that coveted purse or special piece of jewelry.
"It's about supporting small businesses owned by your friends and neighbors, the people who support the community," said Creager. "Small businesses are the heart and soul of the community."
To that end, Creager is encouraging residents to shop the small local businesses in their community this Saturday, Small Business Saturday, as well as throughout the holiday season.
At Plaza Bella, merchants will offer extra incentives for residents to shop local.
Starting Monday, Nov. 28, and running through Saturday, Dec. 3, Plaza Bella will celebrate its fifth anniversary with sales, raffles and special activities including welcoming its newest tenants, Hut No. 8, and .
"It's hard to believe it's been five years since we finished the shopping center and opened for business," said Creager. "Now we have a full shopping center offering a variety of goods and services for the community."
During the five-year celebration, residents are encouraged to bring in diapers, cleaning supplies and toys to be donated to A Kid's Place in Brandon, a foster facility for abused and neglected children. Anyone making a donation will be entered in a drawing for a chance to win a Plaza Bella basket filled with products to be drawn Saturday.
Additionally, shoppers can enter a drawing at each business for a chance to win another Plaza Bella basket.
"We want to encourage residents to visit all of our great businesses at Plaza Bella," said Creager.
Each business will have special offers for customers. On Saturday, at The Original Leena's Chocolates, children can have their photos taken with Santa Claus as well starting at 11 a.m. The shops of Plaza Bella will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Other activities planned for December include a Men's Night at The Green Boutique. Ladies can put items on a wish list and men can come in that evening to shop. There will be refreshments and special drawings that evening.
And, on Dec. 9 from 7 to 9 p.m., The Original Leena's Chocolates will host a seasonal concert featuring the youth choirs from St. Stephen and Nativity Catholic churches.
However, Vera Bradley lovers may want to do some early Christmas shopping at The Green Boutique. Today, Nov. 23, The Green Boutique will host a Vera Bradley retirement sale and holiday promotion. Anyone purchasing $100 or more of Vera Bradley products will receive a free tote in the Suzani pattern.
For those who prefer Brighton purses, jewelry, belts and key chains, starting Monday, Nov. 28, anyone who purchases $125 worth of Brighton products will receive a free Brighton musical snow globe.