It’s Black Friday. Shop Local!

Today marks the much-anticipated, endlessly reported and bizarrely grim start of the holiday shopping season.

Americans leave Thanksgiving dinners to stand outside superstores. They bop each other over the head and ram strangers with shopping carts, frenziedly buying wide-screen TVs and must-have dolls. It is a sick spectacle, and it sets the tone for the entire month that follows.

If COVID-19 has done anything good, it’s put the brakes on this explosion of materialism. Unlike (cough, cough) some places, people here understand the virus is not a hoax. We won’t see hordes of humans pushed into glass doors like Walmart’s version of a Who concert.

Every year, merchants, town officials — and “06880” — urge local folks to buy local.

This year, it’s important more important than ever.

In fact, it’s crucial.

Main Street (Photo/Jillian Elder)

But saying it is one thing. How do we put our Christmas and Hanukkah money where our civic mouth is?

Jillian Elder can help.

The founder of Finding Westport — a website that for over 2 years has linked business owners and customers — created a special page for today and tomorrow. (Black Friday is followed immediately by Small Business Saturday — who knew?)

“When we need retail therapy, our friends on Main Street and the Post Road are there for us,” Jillian says. (Don’t forget Saugatuck!)

“Now is the time to return the favor, and let our friends know we are there for them.”

Jillian spent days asking stores about their Black Friday and Small Business Saturday plans.

Say it with chocolate!

“Finding Westport” includes hours of operations, special offers and sales, links to stores’ websites and gift cards, and pickup and delivery options.

Toys, apparel, jewelry, chocolates, honey, liquor, CBD — and just about anything else you’d give as a gift — is included. Click here for Jillian’s Black Friday and Small Business Saturday page.

You can find everything here for your honey.

That’s not all. Jillian compiled similar lists for Darien, Fairfield, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Ridgefield, Stamford and Wilton. Click here for that page.

Sure, you could have spent last night wrapped in a blanket outside Best Buy. But — thanks to Jillian Elder — you know the best buys are right around the corner.

(PS: Jillian is still adding stores to the list. To be included, email

7 responses to “It’s Black Friday. Shop Local!

  1. Jillian, “when we need retail therapy…”, “we” should try to discover what is missing in our emotional, family or love lives, rather than trying to fill that void with material stuff ,bought locally or otherwise…what a costly, vapid, exhausting, and endless trek it must be, trying to fill a psychological hole with material things.

  2. Hi Dan – I only used the term to catch the readers eye. I don’t use the term “retail therapy” in my every day life nor believe in shopping at big box stores after a day of showing thanks and appreciation. My goal with using the term was to show others that businesses struggle too and we all need to be there for each other, right now the retail industry needs help from us consumers.

    Hope you had a wonderful thanksgiving and shop local this year.

  3. Where did the term “Black Friday” originate? The term was first used in the 1980s because on that shopping day, stores finally went into “ the black” and out of the “red.” In terms of profit.

    • Jack, aren’t you answering your own question? The WWW is a big place, I’m sure you’ll find the answer.

  4. James, You lost me. What’s the WWW have to do with my comment? I suppose I could have eliminated the first sentence, which was a question, and just made the comment. What am I missing here?

  5. James, I often wonder who Pete is, and why we do things for his sake. I suggest we change the expression to “ For Dan’s Sake.”