Downtown Monterey to take part in Small Business Saturday – Monterey Herald

MONTEREY — While people pack grocery stores for Thanksgiving and department stores ramp up for Black Friday, local shops are getting ready for a holiday special of their own: Small Business Saturday.

To promote investing in the community, the Old Monterey Business Association is encouraging patrons to spend Saturday exploring and shopping in downtown Monterey, where stores and restaurants will be featuring storewide sales, limited offers and other attractions to create buzz.

“It’s hard for small businesses to have sales and stuff like this all the time,” said Peter Cofresi, director of the Old Monterey Business Association. “There’s no competition between big stores and us, but this has a homey-vibe, fun local kind of atmosphere going.”

Downtown Monterey’s post-Black Friday and pre-Cyber Monday community promotion is one of many happening across the country come Nov. 26.

Small Business Saturday is a nationwide campaign introduced by American Express in 2010. It was designed to redirect shopping to local stores as the holiday season gets underway. Today, it’s observed in all 50 states and sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Last year, reported projected spending among U.S. consumers who shopped at retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday reached an estimated $23.3 billion, according to the 2021 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey commissioned by American Express. Hopes are high for a similar, if not more successful turnout for 2022, especially as small businesses continue to recover from the pandemic.

Locally, Monterey businesses are looking forward to the boost.

“It gives a focus,” said James Bryant, who co-owns Carpe Diem Fine Books at 245 Pearl St. with his wife, Mary Hill. “When there’s a lot of businesses in an area doing something special or having sales, it will tend to attract more people than if it was just two or three stores.”

Carpe Diem is commemorating Small Business Saturday with a 20% sale on everything in its shop. But the occasion is also pushing the bookstore to do something a little bigger to bring in new patrons: open its doors for regular hours for the first time in years.

Since the pandemic, Carpe Diem has been open only by appointment. From 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, however, customers will have the opportunity to peruse the bookstore’s collection of out-of-print and out-of-the-ordinary reads at will. The affair is a change of pace for the pair of owners, who have grown used to selling products online. They revamped their shop in preparation for the big day.

“It gave us a catalyst to spruce up our displays and put out books that we haven’t been offering,” said Bryant. “It got us to look at the shop in a fresh way because many of the customers coming in will be fresh customers.”

Meanwhile, around the corner at 486 Washington St., Workhorse Bicycles is welcoming the chance to entice more customers inside ahead of colder, and typically slower, months.

“We tend to get a bit slower when it gets cold outside, so any chance to liquidate products and get cash flow going is a bonus for sure,” a Workhorse team member said Wednesday.

For its part in Small Business Saturday 2022, Workhorse Bicycles will be having a storewide sale. It will open from 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

Slowfiber (517 A Hartnell St.) and the Feral Market (261 Alvarado St.) will likewise be holding storewide sales Saturday.

At Sovino Wine Bar & Merchant, wine bottles will be 20% off, good for on-site consumption or to-go. Wine lovers may also enjoy a glass at Puma Road Portola Plaza, where jazz singer Akina Miyata is set to perform starting at 5 p.m.

And behind the Portola Hotel and Spa, in the Custom House Plaza, Monterey’s seasonal skating rink will be up and running for anyone looking to go for an icy spin right by the coast. The rink officially opens Friday, just in time for the weekend’s slate of festivities.

For a full list of local stores and restaurants participating in Small Business Saturday this year, go to