San Diego

Where to ‘Shop Small' in San Diego County for Small Business Saturday 2017

In the city of San Diego alone there are 94,000 small businesses, adding about 490,000 employees into the labor force

Hordes of shoppers rushed to Best Buy, Walmart and Macy’s for the biggest deals of the holiday season Friday, but officials want to remind San Diegans of the importance of shopping “small” this Saturday.

Every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, shoppers are encouraged to hit local shops and restaurants — instead of larger department stores and chains — in an effort to support their local economies and the jobs small businesses create.

The movement called Small Business Saturday was founded in 2010 by American Express. A year later, the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) recognized the importance of the event and threw their support behind it.

In the city of San Diego alone there are 94,000 small businesses, adding about 490,000 employees into the labor force, according to city data. 

Here are some shops and restaurants offering discounts and promotions, and communities hosting fun events this Saturday to get San Diegans into the shopping-small spirit: 

Adams Avenue

Spirit Stroll
2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Various locations
Get into the holiday spirit with some holiday-themed spirits. For $19, you can shop with specially-curated cocktails in hand, inside a dozen retail shops along Adams Avenue. 


Cardiff Town Center Small Business Saturday
10 a.m. to 5 p.m., North Courtyard
The small community of Cardiff is flourishing with small businesses, and to encourage shoppers to check them out, the Cardiff Town Center will have special giveaways, live music and deals at dozens of shops and eateries.

Get a raffle ticket with any purchase Saturday and be entered into Cardiff 101’s Kringle Mingle drawings on Dec 3, where you'll have the chance to win one of six gift baskets totaling $6,000 in prizes.

Chula Vista

Chula Vista Animal Care Facility
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Need some fluff in your life? For one week, the Chula Vista Animal Care Facility is offering discounted adoption fees as part of Small Business Saturday. Most pets can be adopted for $25 and will have initial vaccines, microchip, Rabies vaccine and Spay/Neuter surgery.


Hillcrest for the Holidays
9 a.m. to 4 p.m., 535 Robinson Avenue
Giveaways, giveaways, giveaways! The Hillcrest Business Association is handing out gift bags filled with more than $100 worth of goodies Saturday to shoppers who spend $15 at a Hillcrest business. In addition, with every purchase throughout the holiday season, Hillcrest shops will be offering raffle tickets for a chance to win prizes. You could even win a $2,500 shopping spree!

Imperial Beach

SD Small Business Forum
12 p.m. to 5 p.m., Portwood Pier Plaza
Meet local business owners while you shop in your community at this special Small Business Saturday event hosted by SD Small Business Forum. With more than 30 shops and a wide range of artisan goods, you're sure to find something your loved ones will love this holiday. Every shopper will also receive a raffle ticket. 

Little Italy

Small Business Saturday Promotions
All day, Various businesses
Boutiques, galleries, restaurants... oh my! Dozens of Little Italy establishments are offering discounts and freebies for Small Business Saturday. With so many restaurants to chose from, why not stay for lunch and dinner... with some shopping in between!

North Park

Small Business Saturday Scavenger Hunt
Nov. 18 to Nov. 15
The holidays are typically a time for money purging, but North Park is offering one lucky shopper the chance at $300 if they are the first to complete their annual scavenger hunt. Don't worry, there are prizes for second and third place too, and everyone gets a gift for participating.

To join the hunt, pick up a free clue card and solve puzzles that will take you to 12 North Park businesses. The final clue will be revealed on Saturday through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Clue Cards can be picked up at the following establishments: Tostadas, City Tacos, Verbatim Books, Stubborn Goat Bike Shop and Simply Local.

Shop Small Deals
All day, Various businesses
Get some holiday shopping out of the way at Simply Local and Sage Sisters, then pamper yourself at Shop Good's brow bar before winding down with a margarita at Tamarindo. These North Park shops and several more are offering discounts and deals that, when combined, make the perfect day for shoppers on Small Business Saturday.


Sip & Shop Downtown Oceanside
2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Oceanside
What better way to shop local than to enjoy craft brew from the nationally-known Hops Highway? Enjoy 15 tastings from Oceanside breweries, wineries and more as you stroll from small business to small business in downtown Oceanside, all for $15.

Merry Makers Fair
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Artist Alley in Downtown
This two-day pop-up market opens on Small Business Saturday and brings together two dozen local artists selling a wide array of artisanal goods, from jewelry and candles to glasswork and edible creations. It’s all part of the city’s “’Tis the Season to Shop Local” endeavor.

Ocean Beach

Passport to OB Launch Event
9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Newport Avenue
To celebrate Small Business Saturday, Ocean Beach is launching a new program that allows shoppers to collect stamps at local business for a chance to win prizes. A kick-off event full of giveaways will be held Saturday on Newport Avenue, near the sand sculpture competition. Passport to OB runs through Dec. 20.

Pacific Beach

Shop Small in Pacific Beach
All day, Various businesses
Pacific Beach is a haven for small businesses It's the perfect spot to find beachy goods for your holiday gift-giving. Find a list of shops participating in Small Business Saturday here.

Seaport Village

12th Annual Waterfront Celebration with Surfin' Santa
1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Sporting a pair of boardshorts, flip flops and a Hawaiian shirt, Santa Claus is coming to town – with his surfboard in tow, of course. He'll be ready for pictures before a festive parade down the boardwalk.

The event will also feature kids crafts and, of course, the opportunity to support Seaport Village's 50 locally-owned shops, several of which have been there since 1980 when the village opened.


Chances are, someone you know is part of a small business. To find out, go to your Facebook page and search “Small Business Saturday.” Narrow your search to "your friends" and discover some great small businesses to support within your own friend group.

To find more small businesses near you, try the American Express Shop Small Map.

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