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This weekend, support someone who is simultaneously living their dream and making the community better by doing so.

3 tips to make the most of Small Business Saturday

Thanksgiving has come and gone, and you (and your wallets) are all hopefully recovering from the chaos of Black Friday. But for many local entrepreneurs, however, the biggest day of all has yet to come.

An important day in revenue and visibility, Small Business Saturday is a national initiative to drive support for locally-owned brick and mortar businesses. Growing strongly since its U.S. debut in 2010, the initiative now includes the dot-com community.

Small Business Saturday annually falls on the last Saturday of November, meaning now is the time where our city of neighborhoods can thank the entrepreneurs, who have been able to breathe new life into our collective communities, by shopping. Milwaukee's entrepreneurial community is on the rise, with the expansion of neighborhood BIDS (Business Improvement Districts) and a focus on revitalization, and Milwaukee business owners have everything to offer – from handcrafted goods, unique merchandise and gift certificates available for a variety of services.

Whether you are just looking to treat yourself or cross a few names off of your holiday shopping list, remember to help someone who is simultaneously living their dream and making the community better by doing so. Here are three easy ways to support locally on Small Business Saturday – and beyond.

1. All-in-on shops

If you have limited time and can't spend a day driving to multiple stores, look for local retailers that offer a varied collective of goods. My top picks includes The Waxwing (1800 E. North Ave.), which was recently voted "Best Local Gift Shop." I also enjoy Wisconsin Curated Creations, located in Mayfair Mall, which includes brand favorites such as Classic Shoppe, JazzyRae Jewels and Poppy & Thyme. Southridge Mall welcomed Blink Artisan boutique just under a month ago as one of its latest stores. Saturday will also buzz with city-wide makers markets, such as the Milwaukee Makers Market at Discovery World, so don't forget any of those either.

2. Look for Small Business Saturday grassroots meetup events

I'm kicking my Saturday morning off by attending a meet-and-greet at Manhattan Mocha, a new coffeehouse at 7600 W. Capital Drive that offers coffee, tea and a great spread of sandwiches and small bites. Manhattan Mocha has also partnered up with Delicious Bites, a local dessert and food service caterer, for fresh bakery items. It's a great way to truly celebrate the community and commerce.

3. Work the web

Not a fan of dealing with the crowds and potentially the traffic of one of the biggest shopping days of the year? No big deal. Many of your soon-to-be favorite local businesses have websites that allow you to take advantage of the same in-store deals. I personally am looking forward to JazzyRae Jewels' weekend deals on fashion apparel and jewelry. Visit www.jazzyraejewels.com to view sales, deals and gift card options.

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