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Downtown associations hope residents will shop local this holiday season

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Passports from the 2020 edition of Shop Small November are shown in this photo. The Downtown Corvallis Association has passports again for the special event, which runs through Tuesday, Nov. 30.

Downtown associations for Albany and Corvallis have organized special events to encourage residents to shop at local small businesses this holiday season.

This Saturday, Nov. 27, the Albany Downtown Association is holding Shop Small Saturday, with special deals and sales at businesses, including stores and restaurants.

The event is a key day in the shopping cycle for downtown merchants, said Lise Grato, executive director of the Albany Downtown Association.

And it’s also even more critical due to the pandemic. “This year, like last, has been trying,” Grato added.

The Downtown Corvallis Association is holding Shop Small November for the second straight year as an effort to spread out crowds during the era of COVID-19, Jennifer Moreland, executive director of the organization, said.

“It gives people more time. It’s not that rush to just do it on Black Friday or Shop Small Saturday,” Moreland added.

About 25 businesses are participating in the promotion, including the Inkwell, Peak Sports, Tried & True Coffee Company and more. Customers who spend more than $10 at a participating business can get a stamp in their event passport. When residents get at least seven stamps, they can enter their passport in a drawing for a Downtown Gift Basket.

Moreland said that she’s printed more than 700 passports, but shop owners still are requesting more. “I think people are really into it. … They love going door-to-door and getting the stamps,” she said.

Shop Small November runs through Tuesday, Nov. 30, according to the Downtown Corvallis Association’s Facebook page.

While Lebanon doesn’t have a formal shop small event, individual businesses are holding special sales for the holidays, said Rebecca Grizzle, executive director of the Lebanon Chamber of Commerce. “I hope the downtown is bustling with activity,” Grizzle added.

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