In addition to helping a steady stream of customers at Savory Spice Shop in downtown Franklin, store manager Kelly Garteiz and her associates were spending a pre-Thanksgiving day getting the place ready for the post-Thanksgiving floodgates.

“You won’t recognize this place on Friday,” Garteiz said Tuesday, indicating how the store shelves will be filled with gift sets and other items for the Christmas shopping season that gets underway once the final piece of pumpkin pie has been eaten.

All the hubbub at Savory Spice Shop and similar retailers in downtown Franklin is centered around Small Business Saturday, a day created by American Express and set aside for the past nine years to support small businesses across the nation. Franklin, of course, is an active participant in what is also known as Shop Small or Shop Local Saturday, but many stores reap the benefits the whole weekend.

“It’s our busiest day of the year,” Garteiz said. “Actually, it’s our busiest weekend of the year.”

While Franklin’s downtown stores may not open at 5 in the morning and there may not be customers lining up for that must-have toy for Christmas, they’re bustling on Black Friday just as much as the big box stores or the national chains at CoolSprings Galleria. 

Shoppers flock to Main Street because of its charm, its convenience, its, well, localness. That’s how Missy Swartz, owner of The Cellar on Main, sees it.

“We’re so lucky to have so many local shoppers in Franklin, and tourists too,” she said. “A lot of people choose to shop in downtown Franklin, for whatever reason.”

Though Small Business Saturday is promoted throughout the country, it seems tailored for Franklin and its shops on Main Street, according to Jill Burgin of the Downtown Franklin Association. 

“Shopping in historic downtown Franklin is as much about the sense of place as it is the shopping, “Burgin, who is Main Street director for the DFA, said in a press release. “Getting out of your car and walking among the buildings that have been here since the 1800s reminds you that there have been generations before us who conducted business here and helped make Franklin the thriving town it is today.”

Parking in downtown Franklin is available at two free parking garages, or another option is to park at nearby Pinkerton Park and walk to the business district. The DFA and TMA Group are also offering Hop and Shop trolleys from The Factory at Franklin.

Many stores are offering specials and promotions on Small Business Saturday, and here is a sample of those being offered by DFA members:

Scarlett Scales —1182 West Main and behind Winchester Antiques 121 2nd Ave North. At both stores, they will be serving treats and mimosas on Friday and Saturday and will be tax free at both stores on Saturday. 

Vue Optique— 436 Main St. Vue Optique wants to give you a Benjamin Franklin! They are handing out a $100 Gift Card to use toward a complete pair of prescription eyewear for anyone without insurance on Saturday as a thank you for supporting small businesses. 

Finnleys —435 Main St. 25% off all sweaters, 25% additional off sale items, open till 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday 

Ecco Salon —341 Main St. $35 blow-outs on Nov. 30, Dec. 7 and Dec. 21 

Purple Butterfly —142 Second Ave. N. All purchases over $100 qualify for a 20% discount on the spot. No exclusions on items purchased. Includes all toys, apparel, shoes, coats, Christmas pjs, gifts, EVERYTHING in the store. 

Carpe Diem 212 —South Margin Street. 20% off anything in the store 

Posh 231 —Public Square. 25% off all gift cards, 25% off all sale items, $250 gift card giveaway 

Riverside Franklin —144 Bridge St. 10% off furniture and 25% off Christmas décor 

Puckett’s Boat House —94 East Main St. 15% at Puckett's Boat House with a Small Business Saturday receipt from a local downtown merchant 

Puckett’s —120 Fourth Ave. S. $10 limited-edition Puckett's Christmas ornaments 

A. Marshall Hospitality's annual Holiday Gift Card Sale, which runs Black Friday through New Year's Day: 

Purchase $50, Get $10 Bonus 

Purchase $100, Get $25 Bonus Purchase $500, Get $150 Bonus Purchase $1,000, Get $400 Bonus 

All gift cards and bonus cards purchased at Puckett's Columbia will be accepted at all A. Marshall Hospitality locations, which include Puckett’s Gro. & Restaurant (Franklin, Nashville, Columbia, Chattanooga, Murfreesboro, and Pigeon Forge), Puckett’s Boat House (soon to be Americana Taphouse), Scout’s Pub, and Deacon’s New South. Bonus Cards can be redeemed beginning Jan. 1, 2020, and expire on April 30, 2020. 

Battle of Franklin Trust (DFA member) 

Saturday is the annual battlefield Illumination. New features at Carnton this year include: 

  • Short segments about the spirituals that were sung by the enslaved populations, and how those songs relate to today’s music 
  • Living historians here during the day: President Lincoln, Gen. Grant and a few US, CSA and hopefully USCT soldiers on property. 
  • At 4 p.m. a short program about the 155th anniversary of the battle 
  • Both Carnton and Carter House will be open for free between 4:30-8 p.m. 

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