Small Business Saturday is coming to Hampton Roads

Hampton Roads retailers are pooling their efforts to divert attention from the big chain stores during the holiday shopping season on Small Business Saturday.

More than 75 small businesses are offering special offers, discounts and other promotions in the ViBe Creative District, with a marketplace planned from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at ViBe Park in Virginia Beach, said Kate Pittman, executive director of the nonprofit ViBe. A pop-up market featuring military-owned stores will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at 1701 Coworking at 1701 Baltic Ave.

In its seventh year, the event has become a local favorite, Pittman said, and includes a neighborhood scavenger hunt with a grand prize package worth more than $1,000 raised from participating businesses, she said. Buyers pick up a form at ViBe Park or download it from, then visit 12 or more participating businesses and find answers to the form’s questions to enter a prize draw. A take it all winner will be announced by December 2nd.

“Oh my god, it’s wonderful. It’s our busiest day of the year,” said Carla Jernigan, owner of Gypsy Soul Boutique at 1707 Mediterranean Ave.

ViBe’s Small Business Saturday event draws a lot of people, she said. Jernigan said she looks forward to the shopping season progressing as the local community is very supportive of small businesses. The shop sells unique clothing, accessories, gifts, jewelry and home decor, and Jernigan said she sources her items from local artisans and small businesses.

The neighborhood also welcomes businesses from outside of Virginia Beach, Pittman said. Shopkeepers are ready to help the smaller businesses reach a wider audience.

“That’s always a really cool thing when companies can actually show up in a tent and build a customer base and then grow,” Pittman said.

Lisa DeNoia, co-owner of Fathom Coffee and 1701, said her store had great sales this year.

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“I think we’re going to have a great day on Saturday,” DeNoia said.

About 42% of the 1,548 U.S. shoppers surveyed by LendingTree said they plan to shop on Small Business Saturday, down from 49% last year. They plan to spend an average of $271 compared to $305 last year. LendingTree analyst Matt Schulz attributed the lower spending to inflation, which hit a 40-year high.

Of more than 50 Hampton Roads businesses surveyed by the Retail Alliance, 52% expect slight sales growth this holiday season and 20% expect the same as last year. Most of the small businesses surveyed said inflation has become their top concern, and they also fear an economic recession, the nonprofit Alliance reported.

Aside from spending money locally, DeNoia and Pittman said the public can support small businesses by bringing friends and family to Saturday events and spreading the word about locally owned retailers.

Founded by American Express in 2010 and co-sponsored by the Small Business Administration since 2011, Small Business Saturday is a holiday shopping day focused on independent retailers and small businesses. Participating companies are listed at

Downtown Norfolk Council promotes the area’s independent retailers and restaurants. Selden Market at 208 E. Main St. is a “little shop” headquartered 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. with more than 50 small businesses including pop-up retailers. The festively decorated market hosts Santa from 12pm to 2pm, a gift wrapping station from 11am to 4pm, live entertainment and early giveaways for shoppers.

Other Saturday small business events include:

  • Small Business Saturday in kitsch, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., 1513 Colley Ave., Norfolk. The handcrafted and vintage boutique offers hot cocoa and discounts. Blair Family Woodcraft raises funds by selling ornaments for PFLAG Hampton Roads. Kimberly Ann Jones Art will create custom hand lettered ornaments. Santa Claus collects donations for the table. Ashlimarierose Studio creates silhouette portraits for people and pets from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m
  • Small Business Saturday at COVA, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., 9529 Shore Drive, Norfolk. COVA Brewing hosts a market featuring local vendors and food trucks.
  • Saturday vintage small business market, 2-7 p.m., Reaver NFK, 3800 Colley Ave., Norfolk. The brewery and Hanks Vintage are hosting a market featuring various vintage vendors and discounts on Small Business Saturday.
  • Portsmouth Olde Towne Farmers Market, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center, 400 High St., Portsmouth. 50+ vendors, free tarot reading, free henna tattoos, live music.
  • {Re}Saved pop-up shop event, 10am to 4pm, Bank Street and Main Street, Suffolk city centre. The city’s business development agency is hosting a small business event Saturday featuring 30 vendors, discounts, holiday deals, coffee, hot chocolate, balloon artists, live entertainment, face painting and Santa Claus. The Courthouse Fountain Park will house a comfortable seating area with several large screen televisions showing sporting events.
  • Farmers Market Williamsburg, 8-12 p.m., 345 Duke of Gloucester St., Williamsburg. More than 40 vendors, live music and demonstrations.
  • Christmas market in Carrollton, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Old Point Bank, 13480 Carrollton Blvd., Carrollton. More than 40 vendors, music, Christmas tree sales, food and Santa Claus. Free. For more information, call 757-357-5182.