Black Friday officially kicks off holiday shopping mania, but in Brooklyn festive ‘Small Business Saturday’ is the real deal

November 21, 2012 Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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Across the country, Black Friday — the day when holiday shopping officially kicks off – is marked by insane sales, long lines and shopping hysteria. And the Brooklyn outposts of national chains are offering door busters with the best of them.

Macy’s on Fulton Street planned to open at midnight on Thanksgiving (and stay open until 10 p.m. Friday night). Best Buy – offering steeply-discounted laptops and flat screen TVs — opens at midnight as well, with tickets handed out at 10 p.m.  

Staples said it would open its doors at 5 a.m. Friday morning, offering computers, data storage devices and software at competitive prices. Target urged customers to rush right over after Thanksgiving dinner, saying it would open at the Atlantic Center Mall at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving night and remain open until 11 p.m. Friday.

Smaller shops in Brooklyn, however, urge customers to eschew the national chain shopping mania and buy their holiday goods during a kinder, gentler “Small Business Saturday,” on November 24, originally designed by American Express to help out its small business customers and now widely embraced throughout Brooklyn.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

In Clinton Hill and Fort Greene, shops along Fulton Street and Myrtle Avenue have joined forces for the Saturday event to offer trolley rides, Santa and kid’s activities.

The Fulton Area Business (FAB) Alliance in partnership with the Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership plans special trolley stops for kids with activities, cookies and cider, entertainment and more from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., along both Fulton Street and Myrtle Avenues. Santa will be singing festive songs and handing out surprise treats as he rides the trolley from 12 – 4 p.m.

Since Hurricane Sandy, the groups have added an emergency New York Cares Coat Drive, with coat drop-offs along the trolley route. (See for details)

Shops along Atlantic Avenue will also be joining in on Small Business Saturday from 1 – 5 p.m., with holiday carolers, free trolley rides up and down  the avenue, the official lighting of holiday lights, and cookies, hot cocoa, mulled cider, and other refreshments at a number of shops.

The events take place along Atlantic Avenue from Brooklyn Heights to 4th Avenue. Details here:

In DUMBO, many businesses will donate 5 – 10 percent of Small Business Saturday sales to Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. Participating businesses including Dabney Lee, Modern Anthology, Journey, Frameworks, Dewey’s Candy, and Frsh Concepts; the Brooklyn Recovery Fund will match those donations up to $10,000. For more information, check out (Additionally, tweet @dumbobid and American express will gift you $25.)

On the other hand, BIG!NYC Gowanus says don’t buy it, build it. ( Black Friday is out, and Green Friday is in, the reuse/ recycle group says, so this year they urge Brooklynites to make their own gifts out of reusable goods.  They’ll be holding a free workshop teaching folks how to make gifts from upcycled jars and more. (Tweet #GreenFridayGowanus)

Build It Green!NYC’s reuse centers will have items on sale from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., along with businesses Film Biz Recycling and LESEC’s E-Waste Warehouse.

If shopping is just too much for you, Brooklyn Bowl offers an alternative: Bring the family bowling from noon – 6 p.m. at their Black Friday Family Bowl event. “Bring the whole family and get your bowl on,” Brooklyn Bowl advertises. The event – which charges no cover – includes entertainment. (

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