This year, BRIDGE Local partnered with United Way of Central Florida to bring you Shop Small & Give Back. We’re celebrating our communities small businesses by encouraging consumers to shop local, while entering to win awesome prizes from local stores and restaurants.

Small businesses are also encouraged to participate by taking the Small Business Pledge to pledge to continue prioritizing partnerships with other small, local businesses. Once a small business takes the pledge, they’ll be listed on our Small Business Spotlight directory.

Shoppers and Small Busineses are encouraged to take the Shop Small Pledge. The pledge is a promise to shop small and consider the impact shopping small has on our local economy. Specifically, when you sign the pledge you promise to change just ONE buying decision each month to support a local small business AND encourage friends and family to shop small, too.

There are two options when taking the pledge: The Shoppers Pledge and The Small Business Pledge.

Shoppers can take the pledge and be automatically entered to win giveaways from some of our favorite local spots.

Small Businesses can take the pledge, as well. The Small Business Pledge is a way to show how a business currently prioritizes partnerships with other small, local businesses and a promise to continue to do so. After taking the Small Business Pledge, businesses will be listed on our Small Business Spotlight directory.

The Shop Small Polk map can be found here.

The Small Business Spotlight directory is a list of businesses who have taken the Small Business Pledge, promising to continue prioritizing partnerships with small, local businesses.

Prizes and gift cards from local businesses, cash and fun swag!

Shop Small is about more than just shopping at small businesses. It’s a cause that helps to support local economies and promote vibrant, diverse communities. It’s also a nationwide movement fueled by shoppers, business owners, and organizers who come together and celebrate the community because they know it matters.

American Express launched Shop Small on November 27, 2010. The day became official and recognized by the U.S. Senate in 2011. In 2012, elected officials in every state championed Small Business Saturday.

It’s an annual shopping tradition dedicated to supporting small businesses and celebrating communities across the country. Founded by American Express in 2010, Small Business Saturday is celebrated every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This year, you can get out and support the places you love with the people you love on November 28.

Small businesses play a key role in helping communities thrive. By shopping or dining at your favorite local places throughout the year, you’re showing your support for small businesses and making a positive impact in your community.

In 2017, our community was introduced to Shop Small with the Shop Small Lakeland event. Featuring over 400 participants and 44 participating merchants, Shop Small Lakeland generated an estimated economic impact of $35,741 in just one day.

In 2018, we grew our reach to encompass all of Polk County. We had 50 merchants and over 200 shoppers participating to generate an estimated economic impact of $49,250.

In 2019, we partnered with United Way of Central Florida to promote shopping small AND giving back to our community. Dozens of small businesses pledged to donate funds to United Way of Central Florida in order to help improve our community!

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