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Support Small Business Saturday on November 26

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By Terry Hagerty – Contributing writer/photographer

Across the nation, Small Business Saturday on November 26 will be a day to celebrate and support small businesses “and all they do for their communities,” according to the Small Business Administration. And Bastrop is pulling out the stops for that date, officials say.

“We are celebrating Small Business Saturday in a huge way this year,” said Main Street Program Director Sarah O’Brien. The day will be marked by the 30th Annual Harvest Art Fest at the 1832 Farmers Market, and by the inaugural Wassail Fest downtown. “We wanted to put a focus on Small Business Saturday and encourage residents and visitors to get out and shop local. The Saturday after Thanksgiving is a great time for families to get out of the house and visit some of downtown Bastrop’s unique stores and restaurants,” O’Brien said.

Small Business Saturday was launched in 2010 by American Express and has grown rapidly over the last four years. In 2014 an estimated $14.3 billion was spent at small independent businesses, O’Brien said. The day is meant to help support small local businesses that create jobs while maintaining their locations – often in historic downtowns and neighborhoods.

Harvest Fest is set for two days: Friday and Saturday, November 25 & 26, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at the 1832 Farmers Market at 1302 Chestnut Street. It is billed as an event with “Handmade art and food for the body and soul.” In a related event, downtown merchants will be supported as they “compete for bragging rights for the best holiday brew,” O’Brien said of the Inaugural Wassail Fest – part of Bastrop’s Lost Pines Christmas. (Wassail is typically a hot mulled apple cider with added spices.) The Wassail Fest will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, November 26. Participants include Art Connections Gallery, Caledonia Cottage Quilts & More, Liberty Glenn, Lost Pines Art Bazaar, R.A. Green Mercantile, with more expected to come onboard.

O’Brien added, “Small Business Saturday it is an opportunity to remind everyone how vitally important small businesses are to our local economy. We hope Bastrop residents will remember to show their support for all of our small businesses, from our Farmers Market vendors to our wonderful downtown restaurants, art galleries, boutiques, salons and more.” O’Brien also reminded shoppers to “shop small” not only on #smallbizsat, but throughout the year and especially during the holiday season.