ST. JOSEPH, MICH. — Holiday shoppers seeking great buys will find them throughout Southwest Michigan (SWMI), on Black Friday, November 25, and Small Business Saturday, November 26. 

“You will easily find gifts for everyone on your holiday shopping list from our merchants, restaurants and entertainment venues,” said Amy Zapal, executive director of St. Joe Today. “From the latest fashions to locally made wines and candies, to gourmet foods, to award-winning toys and games to museum memberships to fresh-baked pet biscuits, you will love all the choices for fantastic gifts, for your loved ones and yourself.” 

Zapal said another appreciated present is a St. Joe Today (SJT) gift certificate, redeemable at SJT member stores, restaurants and hotels. They can be purchased at the Welcome Center, 301 State St., or online at, and are good at over 80 different locations.

St. Joe Today acts as a Neighborhood Champion for the American Express national Small Business Saturday campaign and will hand out a limited number of swag items on Saturday, November 26 at the Welcome Center. 

“The ripple effect of shopping small is huge and supports more people than you may initially realize.” says Kelly Vega, owner of St. Joe Community Taproom, “You're not just supporting those employed by any particular small business, you're supporting every single person whose products are sold at the business and the community members who provide services to keep small businesses running. You're even benefiting local causes and charities that local small businesses so generously support. Shopping small enhances our community and deeply touches the lives of so many of your neighbors and their families.”

According to the Civic Economic Study in Grand Rapids, MI when someone spends $100 at a local business, approximately $68 stays in the local community. Melanie Bonenfant, co-owner of G&M Variety, says that shopping small is important to her because “As a small business owner, we value each one of our customers and try to serve them in the best way we can. By supporting a small business, you’re supporting real, genuine people whose passion is to serve the local community.”

Local businesses offering Small Business Saturday specials include Baroda Founders, Box Factory for the Arts, Caffe Tosi, Chartreuse, DK Boutique, Edgewater Gifts, Finalé Touch, Forever Books, Forever Clean Soap Works, G&M Variety, Gallery on the Alley, Glik's, Grins of St. Joseph, HarborTown Interiors, Infusco Coffee, Krasl Art Center, Lazy Ballerina Winery, Michigan Department of Health & Human Services, Oh My Darlings, Olive Cart, Perennial Accents, Renaissance Athletic Club, ReVive Spa, Schroeder Furniture, Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra, St. Joe Community Taproom, St. Joe Today, St. Joe Wine Shoppe, State Street Meats, State Street Stuff, The Aesthetics Lounge and Spa, The Buck Burgers & Brew, The Candlestick Maker, The Cheese Lady, The GhostLight Theatre, Urban Found, Wanderlust Outfitters, White Pine Winery, Wolf's Marine and many more! For a full list of shops and Small Business Saturday specials, visit

To make the most of the giving season, St. Joe Today and SWMI businesses and restaurants host Countdown to New Year, a daily giveaway event throughout the month of December! Shoppers earn one entry per $25 purchase (one time or cumulative) at an SJT member business. Qualifying purchases must be made between November 18 and December 18 - earn double points for shopping on Luminary (November 15), Small Business Saturday (November 26), Window Wonderland (December 2) and the Fanny Mae Memorial Reindog Parade (December 3). Receipts for purchases must be presented to an SJT staff member at the Welcome Center by December 18. Participants will be entered into a daily drawing to win a $50 gift certificate to a local SWMI business. Visit for more information.

Additionally, shoppers and diners alike will enjoy a magical experience this winter season while downtown. Beautiful winter lights and festive holiday music throughout downtown St. Joseph will enhance the holiday atmosphere. The winter lights and music will kick off on Luminary (November 18). The lights will remain up through February in conjunction with Light up the Bluff (December 3 through February 15). 

Catch these upcoming St. Joe Today fall and winter events:

Luminary: November 18 (5:00p-8:00p)
Countdown to New Year: November 18-December 18
Small Business Saturday: November 26 (all day)
Window Wonderland: December 2 (7:00p-8:30p)
Fanny Mae Memorial Reindog Parade: December 3 (3:00p)
Santa Series: December 3-23 (select dates)
Holiday Artisan Fair: December 4 (12:00p-4:00p)

St. Joe Today is a 501(c)(3) membership-based organization dedicated to developing and promoting events and businesses in St. Joseph, Mich. and its surrounding communities. For more information about upcoming events and details call St. Joe Today at (269) 985 1111 or visit