Small Business Saturday has been a national movement for the past eleven years, both created and spurred on by the world-wide economic recession of 2008-2010 that was devastating to our local businesses.

Mark Trowbridge

And while this year will look different than the previous ten, there is no doubt that what’s at the heart of this iconic program remains the same. In fact, it is more essential than ever.

Small businesses are the job creators in our local economies, the investors in our future workforce and the family businesses that bring us so much pride and tradition.

And on Small Business Saturday – with grateful thanks to our Chamber – we have been celebrating these great independent and locally owned businesses since they first opened their doors.

This past Saturday was a great day for businesses – glorious weather, tons of social media hype and consumers eager to continue their holiday shopping (and maybe buy a little something for the home team, too).

I began my morning doing a drop-off of some SBS swag to Lynda at Nautica Gallery. A fave store of mine, I can always find something Florida Gator inspired, such as the amazing silver serving dish I picked-up right out of the gate.

From there, it was off to Jae’s Jewelers, where we were hosted by Bruce and Jill Hornik, as well as the entire family and team, and who helped us inaugurate SBS 2020. We were joined by our Mayor, the SBA and of course, members of the local media.

We had a story to tell as Jae’s turns 75 years old this month and is celebrating three generations of serving the good people of Coral Gables and South Florida with their gorgeous pieces.

Then, it was time for a saunter down Miracle Mile, visiting such great shops as Violetas, where there were about 100 items there I wanted and needed NOW, including a glass mustache paperweight. Come one, everyone needs at least one!

After a quick pop-by at Crema (one of three restaurants on the Mile owned by the gents at the Atomic Restaurant Group) for a peanut butter power protein shake with almond milk, I headed to Giralda for a stroll and some nosh.

I was joined by SBA leader Althea Harris, Past Chair of our Chamber Carolina Rendeiro, and my pal Jami Reyes of Americaribe for an outdoor lunch. Jami grabbed at beer at Clutch Burger based on owner Steve Bradley’s recommendation and pronounced it a winner.

Then, we popped a squat at Threefold Cafe and got our eater on. I went with the monkey bread, followed by soft scrambled and beautifully folded eggs on toast and of course a side of fries. The ladies did Avo Toast and mimosas – the perfect SBS lunch fare.

After a lot of laughs, we had a meet-up with our Chairman Brian Barakat – fresh off the plane from Hawaii – and then it was off to Well Groomed Gentleman where I got my fro busted, my graying No Shave November beard shaved, complimented by a fresh manicure for my tired hands.

As always Willian and Yuly were ready to meet my every need and helped me look my best for the rest of the day. From there it was delightful cupcakes at Misha’s, two new reads from Books & Books (a stalwart partner and star of SBS), and a 15-year Glenfiddich from Mystic Wine.

Sadly, Dr. Smood was closed for the holiday weekend, but I checked-out the swanky new La Glace on Giralda, enjoying a delicious sea-salt gelato, topped with nutella and an Oreo. YUM!

My final stop was for a little personal indulgence, catching up with the team at Artigiano near the Shops of Merrick Park. I picked-up a gift for my pal Marco (shhhh, its a secret) and enjoyed a cafetico with the boys – Alex, Benji and Waldo. They are the best in their business, bar none!

Suddenly, it was 5pm and time to call it a great day, but not before sending off a bevvy of pics to our social media team to post and share. Because, if it isn’t on Instagram, it likely never happened….even something as noble and important as Small Business Saturday.

But, it did!

And while the crowds were not as big as pre-pandemic years, it was great to see Giralda Plaza full of happy and socially distant outdoor diners, and the retailers said the business was steady throughout the day. Good news all around – for SBS and all Saturdays!

This lift – whether on-line or in person – is essential to local retailers as we look at a holiday season that began before Halloween and ends on December 24.

Now, let’s keep shopping! What are you waiting for?

I’ve got a mustache to buy!

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