Small Business Saturday is Saturday, Nov. 27
Shop local small businesses to support the Merrill community
TINA L. SCOTT
Twelve years ago American Express started a campaign designating Small Business Saturday in the United States on the last Saturday of November. The idea gained national and presidential support in 2011, and it has continued to grow ever since. Designed to encourage shoppers to support their small local and independently-owned businesses, especially retailers, this year’s Small Business Saturday is Saturday, Nov. 27.
Shopping local, and especially small businesses, supports local Merrill business owners, creates jobs, enhances our community, and grows our regional economy.
While many shoppers are familiar with Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, and Cyber Monday shopping, the following Monday, shopping local small businesses the Saturday in between is a great opportunity to find locally-sourced and more unique gifts than the items you’ll find at the big box and online stores.
Consider some of these local businesses.
Clothing and accessories
Local boutiques offer clothing and accessories in limited quantities, so you’ll find more unique offerings and special gift ideas. In Merrill, consider shopping at P’s Boutique, 110 N. Prospect St.; Ana Blair’s Boutique, 820 E. First St.; and Johnson’s of Merrill, 1021 E. Main St. All offer women’s clothing and accessories, and some also sell children’s clothing.
Toys and games
What would Christmas be without toys for the kids? It’s easy to forget some of our local small businesses stock toys. Consider Johnson’s of Merrill, 1021 E. Main St., that carries high quality Melissa & Doug brand toys; River Country Co-op, 1300 N. Center Ave., carries several lines of kids toys; Die-Cast Game and Hobby, 416 W. Main St.; and the new Dragons, Daggers ‘n Games, 718 E. 2nd St., for card and board games.
Looking for fine jewelry for a gift, a mother’s ring, or a diamond to pop the question? Klug’s Country Gold, 1018 E. Main St. in Merrill, is a locally-owned small business featuring fine jewelry selections, including rings, earrings, pendants, and more.
Whether it’s a gift for the holidays, a gift for yourself, or to set the scene for the holidays, if you’re looking for high quality furniture and accessories, two local small businesses carry a huge selection: Courtside Furniture, 1022 E. Main St., and Miller’s Furniture, 120 N. Prospect St., both in Merrill. From beds to dining room sets, coffee tables to couches, recliners and rockers, and decor to make it all feel like home, it’s here and available locally.
Tasty and locally-produced treats (perfect for gift boxes or baskets)
Putting together a gift basket? As a hostess gift, a gift of delights from Wisconsin to send to out-of-town or -state friends or family, or for any occasion, shop local. You’ll find maple syrup, candies, handcrafted items, and treats at Northwoods Maple and More, 811 E. 1st St.; cheeses, spreads, sausage and more are readily available at Clark’s Cup and Cone, 2802 E. Main St. (and you can grab lunch, too); and Geiss Meat Service, W4490 Pope Rd., Merrill, has a wide array of meats and processed meats in their retail store.
Whether you need a part for a repair or are shopping for an auto lover or the kid who just got his first car, Merrill has three stores to get you everything you need: NAPA Auto Parts, 1010 E. Main St.; Carquest, 1209 E. Main St.; and O’Reilly Auto Parts, 2414 E. Main St.
Don’t forget the pets
River Country Co-op, 1300 N. Center Ave., has pet food and a lot more to outfit family pets in style, or in case Santa wants to shop ahead for pet presents.
Other gift ideas and decor
Looking for a little gift, decor, or something unusual for yourself? Locally, Rivers Edge, 1505 Champagne St.; Johnson’s of Merrill, 1021 E. Main St.; and the Crooked Queen, N1764 High Ridge Rd. (seasonal hours and available by appointment 715.574.2061) offer a huge variety of options. Two shops in town also feature a combination of antiques and candy. There’s a winning combination for a unique gift idea or a special treat when out shopping for others. Consider Ye Olde Sweet Shoppe, 923 E. Main St., and Aunt Lu’s Antiques, 923 E. Main St. (Call 715.539.3337 for hours or appointment.)
School House Unique, N721 Range Line Rd., Merrill, is a new business featuring antiques, vintage treasures, and unique gift ideas you won’t find anywhere else. It’s worth a short drive and is decked out for the holidays.
Something for the guys
Whether the guys are shopping for themselves or the women are shopping for them, locally-owned Merrill Ace Hardware, 920 E. Main St., sells tools, hardware, power equipment, grills, and lots of stuff they’ll love. Power House Lawn & Leisure, 2500 E. Main St. in Merrill, also sells power equipment (think lawn mowers, snow blowers, and chainsaws) and a huge line of grills and grilling accessories. And don’t forget Radio Shack in VIP Office Products, 1013 E. Main St., Merrill.
Home improvement projects
Nothing says home for the holidays or ready for guests like a home spruce-up. Get started with paint from 920 E. Main St. and do any needed repairs or get new fixtures. While shopping, check out their display of Christmas decor.
New flooring makes a huge impact. Central Carpet & Flooring, 1320 E. Main St., has a huge selection and offers installation.
Outfit the home office with the latest in office technology and equipment from VIP Office Products, 1013 E. Main St., locally owned and operated.
Appliances showcase holiday cooking, and you can buy local at Hargrave Appliance Center, 916 E. Main St., or Greg’s Gruett’s Appliance, 414 W. Main St., both in Merrill, for stoves, freezers, washers, dryers, refrigerators, microwaves, and more.
Need a new TV or other electronics? Merrill House of Music & Home Entertainment, 912 E. Main St., offers personalized sales, service, and installation.
Really want to splurge, or how about a Christmas gift the whole family can enjoy? How about a hot tub from Power House Lawn & Leisure, 2500 E. Main St.? That will definitely warm everyone up during the cold winter to come.
Say it with flowers … and evergreens
Within Merrill, two florists offer custom arrangements year round and to decorate your home for the holidays. Victoria’s Floral, 110 N. Prospect St., and Broses Flower Center, 807 S. Center Ave., are just a phone call away, or visit their store locations to browse their selections.
Numerous tree farms in the area also offer Christmas trees, kissing balls, wreaths, and porch pots for decorating this holiday season, and many area churches and businesses have Christmas tree lots, as well.
For convenience, you can find a tree right here in Merrill, but if you’re looking for a cut-your-own experience with the family, Fritz’s Mountain, W3035 State Rd. 64, offers all that and handcrafted gifts for sale; Northwoods Evergreen will have their little red shed adorned with holiday decorations and Christmas trees on the corner of Hwy. W and Center Rd.; Snowhill Tree Farm, N1586 Snowhill Rd., is open for business; and Smiling John’s Christmas Trees, W3750 Center Rd., is also ready for customers.
Regardless of what you’re shopping for, great small businesses abound in Merrill, and most are conveniently located downtown or on Merrill’s West side. Go for a walk and take a closer look at the shop windows. You might discover some newer (or older) businesses you didn’t know existed and many that aren’t mentioned in this article, because there are just too many great Merrill businesses to list!
Most small businesses offer the kind of personal attention big businesses can only dream of. The prices won’t always be the cheapest, but the quality of their products isn’t either. And you can’t always put a price on supporting the community you call home.
Help keep your friends and neighbors employed and in business, and support the local economy, not just on Small Business Saturday, but throughout the year. Local small businesses give back when they support non-profits in the area with donations, fundraisers, and sponsorships. Giving them our business is one way we can thank them.
Money spent at local small businesses circulates again and again throughout the Merrill community, and that’s a win-win for everyone.