2020 has been … challenging, to say the least. We won’t list off the many challenges we’re referring to in an attempt to spare you from reliving any stress. What we will say about it, however, is that small businesses have arguably been hit the hardest. As a small business that serves other small-to-medium-sized businesses, Odd Dog has seen a lot of the damage firsthand. And, while there’s no good in pointing fingers, there’s a whole lotta good in lending a hand to support and rebuild.
What is Small Business Saturday?
Small Business Saturday is a national shopping day held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving during the country’s busiest shopping season. On this day, shoppers are encouraged to support small, local businesses, rather than purchase their holiday gifts from large, big-box companies.
Why Shop Small in 2020?
There are lots of reasons to support small businesses in your community! For one, opting to shop small stimulates your local economy, creating local jobs and encouraging the recirculation of funds in your area. Additionally, local, independent merchants strengthen product diversity in the community, ensuring shoppers find holiday gifts that are thoughtful, unique, and creative. And, on a more sentimental note, shopping small fosters a sense of community between local shoppers and business owners.
American Express, the company that actually created Small Business Saturday back in 2010, cites that 62% of US small businesses need to see consumer spending return to pre-COVID levels by the end of 2020 in order to stay in business. Your choice to shop small this year carries a lot of weight.
Odd Dog’s Small Business Saturday 2020 Bingo
Given the tough year many of our clients have had, the Odd Dog team felt it was especially important to celebrate Small Business Saturday 2020, shining some light on the independent, local businesses in our community who need a little extra support this holiday season. The end result? We created a bingo board to encourage local shopping and event participation across western Washington. All those who get a bingo are entered into a raffle to win one of the three fantastic baskets, loaded with goodies, discounts, and freebies from our incredibly generous clientele.
Small Business Saturday Bingo Instructions
1. Save Bingo Card
You can download Odd Dog’s Small Business Saturday bingo card by clicking on the bingo card image, which will open a new tab in your browser and allow you to save it as a .png file. Feel free to mark the card digitally or print it to play.
2. Cover 5 Boxes in a Row to Get a Bingo
If you choose to print your card out, please mark your squares clearly with a marker or pen (or actual bingo chips, if you happen to have those lying around). For those who opted to keep it digital, you can cover the squares by editing the file, marking a square each time you complete the task within it.
3. Submit Your Completed Bingo Card
Once you’ve got a bingo, upload either your 1) edited bingo card file or, 2) a photo of your printed bingo card, using the form below. We’re operating on the honor system here — don’t forget Santa is watching.
4. Don’t Stop There
Cover as many squares as you can, even after you’ve already bingo’d!
5. Tune In for Raffle Results
We’ll be selecting 3 raffle winners at random on December 15, and will announce the winners on our blog, Facebook, and Instagram. Give us a follow, and/or check back on the 15th!
We have to give some credit to the Moz crew for inspiring us to organize a promotion this year to celebrate Small Business Saturday; they published a fantastic article detailing more ways both consumers and businesses can support small businesses in 2020. We’d highly recommend giving it a read as well!
What’s in the Raffle Basket? Check Out Our Generous Clients/Donors
Earlier this month, our team reached out to our clients, requesting donated items for our raffle baskets. Our clients certainly delivered — thank you to all of your generous clients/donors! In exchange, we’re giving each of our clients who donated a shoutout in hopes that you, our darling reader, find a company that sparks your interest while shopping this holiday season.
The Odd Dog team tries to be careful when selecting clients. Our favorite businesses to work with are those that represent and demonstrate values similar to our values — acting respectfully, learning eagerly, and always trying their best to do the right thing. You can shop assured knowing the local, small-to-medium-sized businesses listed below are some of the best around to support.
With that, our clients/donors are listed in REVERSE alphabetical order below. (The author of this blog post’s last name starts with a “Z”, so she resents traditional alphabetical order.)
Have a health nut to buy for? Or someone looking to adopt a healthier lifestyle? Wisdom Superfood is a local health and wellness company making excellent, plant-based products — all designed to promote the perfect balance of proteins, adaptogens, vitamins, and probiotics in your diet. Almost more importantly, these products are tasty; the Wisdom Superfood team is so confident you’ll agree, in fact, they encourage you to send it back for a full refund if you don’t like it. Nothing to lose, everything to gain!
Who doesn’t love a good sammy? Maple Valley’s S’Wiched offers a wide variety of gourmet sandwiches, salads, wraps, soups, and more — all using the highest quality of ingredients sourced from the Northwest. If you live south of the city or are hoping to head that direction for any reason, we highly recommend bringing the whole family down to try one of S’Wiched’s yummy culinary creations.
Strut the Pup
Odd Dog has worked with Strut the Pup for several years now, and we can’t say enough good things about them! The business founder and owner, Einat, cares genuinely about both the quality of service and the animals under her team’s supervision. Offering everything from dog walking to puppy training to overnight pet sitting, Strut the Pup confidently maintains a five-star rating on both Yelp and Google My Business for their services. Treat your furry friend to the very best this holiday season!
Seattle Veterinary Associates
Seattle Veterinary Associates is a family of 4 clinics across Seattle, including Green Lake Animal Hospital, Queen Anne Animal Clinic, Ravenna Animal Hospital, and Northwest Veterinary Hospital. Maintaining excellent standards of care across all locations, Seattle Veterinary Associates has provided expert attention, treatment, and preventive care to Seattle pets since 1972. Two of Odd Dog’s office dogs, Pantz and Oslo, highly recommend their services 🐶
Major League Rugby (MLR) — North America’s professional rugby union — has only been around since 2018, making it one of the newest sports leagues in the US. And guess what? Seattle doesn’t just have an MLR team; we have the league champions two years running.
Based at Starfire Sports Stadium in Tukwila, the Seattle Seawolves will kick off their 2021 season in the spring. Gift your favorite sports fan some Seawolves gear or tickets in the meantime!
Sara Eizen, a local interior designer with a few other entrepreneurial successes under her belt as well, is such a cool lady. Full of positive energy, Sara was one of the most enthusiastic participants in our Small Business Saturday bingo; she donated a variety of items from her favorite charitable organizations, including Refugee Artisan Initiative, her partner organization that gives 100% of their profits to help artisans in the US make living wages. If you’re looking to give your interior spaces a new look, contact Sara!
With stores all over the Pacific Northwest, we’re sure you’ve heard of Mud Bay before. What you probably don’t know, however, is that they strive to source as many of their products as possible from local, cottage-industry suppliers. They also partner with over 30 animal welfare organizations across Washington and Oregon, and operate as an employee-owned business (and their employees are all great to work with!). These aren’t just fun facts … they’re reasons to choose Mud Bay over national pet-store chains. Our dogs and cats deserve the best!
Himalayan Pet Supply
Oh, one of our favorite fun facts about Himalayan Pet Supply, you ask? They were on Shark Tank! If that’s not a testament to the high-quality and unique nature of their products, we’re not sure what is. Plus, their team is super nice and fun to work with.
Himalayan Pet began with two brothers using traditional Nepalese methods and recipes to create long-lasting dog chews. They make a special effort to give back to the community — both in Washington, where they’re based, and in their native country of Nepal. We’re willing to bet your dog will love their products!
Located just outside the city in Woodinville, Barrage Cellars is a family-owned boutique winery with a generous heart. The Odd Dog team can personally attest to the quality of their wine; Barrage Cellars provided us with an entire crate of their wine bottles when they first signed on. It’s good stuff and, trust us, we know our wine. Pair your holiday meals with a bottle of local wine from Barrage Cellars this year!Located just outside the city in Woodinville, Barrage Cellars is a family-owned boutique winery with a generous heart. The Odd Dog team can personally attest to the quality of their wine; Barrage Cellars provided us with an entire crate of their wine bottles when they first signed on. It’s good stuff and, trust us, we know our wine. Pair your holiday meals with a bottle of local wine from Barrage Cellars this year!
Agora’s Remote Breakroom
Agora is a team of top-notch partners in strategy and problem solving, and a joy to work with. A locally-owned coffee & refreshment services company based in Tukwila, Agora Refreshments provides premium coffee, breakroom supplies, and water purification technology to offices across the PNW. Just this year, they launched a second company, Remote Breakroom, which allows anyone to send a box of tasty breakroom snacks to their friends, family, and employees. The perfect gift for your favorite WFH professional!
Odd Dog has been working with Accutint Bellevue for over ten years, and we can say with absolute confidence that they are some of the most genuine, fun people we know. The Accutint Bellevue team prides themselves on not just high-quality automotive services — including window tinting, detailing, paint protection, vinyl wraps, and more — but also always “doing the right thing for the right reasons.” Trust Accutint Bellevue next time you need your car (or residential/commercial windows) serviced!
Odd Dog Local Pledge: Shop Small This Holiday Season
You may have noticed a trend in our clientele. Turns out, many of our clients provide dog- and/or pet-related goods or services. While this was mostly accidental, it’s even more incentive for the pet owners of Greater Seattle to participate — and we know there are a lot of you out there!
Whether you own a pet or not, however, here’s one final request from the Odd Dog pack: try your best to shop small this holiday season. Local businesses are the foundation of local communities, and they could use our support now more than ever. You can start by taking the Odd Dog Local Pledge with us, and using the hashtag #ODLocalPledge on your social media platform of choice.
Stay safe, and Happy Holidays!
Love, the Odd Dog pack