Darien businesses are gearing up for Small Business Saturday to encourage people to “shop small” and support their local businesses. It is one of the several ways the Darien Chamber of Commerce is preparing to encourage Darien residents to support its efforts and local business this holiday season.

American Express created Small Business Saturday in the midst of the recession of 2010 on the Saturday after Thanksgiving to encourage people to Shop Small and bring more holiday shopping to small businesses. It intentionally falls between the shopping crazes of Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, and Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving weekend, both of which often direct shoppers to larger chains and online shopping.

Darien businesses downtown, Noroton Heights, in Goodwives Shopping Center and many other areas are participating — look for the Shop Small logo for special promotions and deals all day Saturday.

Black Friday is also Record Store Day and Darien’s legendary record store, Johnny’s, is participating. They shared a list of new vinyl to be released Friday they will have in stock. The store at 45 Tokeneke Road will be open until 7 p.m.

Continue to support local businesses this weekend at the Darien Sport Shop along with Darien Parks & Rec, is holding the first tree lighting of the season at its annual tree lighting and arrival of Santa on Sunday, Dec. 1 at 4:30.

Palmer’s Market is also holding a holiday Open House on Thursday, Dec. 5 at 6 p.m.

The Darien Chamber, partnering with Darien Toy Box, is hosting annual Holiday Magic on Saturday, Dec. 7 at Grove Street Plaza including carolers and hot cocoa. Animal rides start at 4 p.m. and Santa arrives at 4:45 p.m.

The Chamber is also encouraging shoppers to stroll downtown Darien and shop on Wednesday, Dec. 11 from 5 to 9 p.m. The event includes over 20 Darien retailers largely located on or just off the Post Road and will include special promotions, gifts, light bites and refreshments.

The Chamber points out that for every $100 spent locally $67 goes back into the local community.

Enjoying the festive atmosphere of the downtown holiday decor? Donate to the Darien Chamber’s holiday lights fundraiser here.