Black Friday & Small Business Weekend

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Saturday brought many shoppers to small businesses in Hyde Park and around the Tampa Bay area. Christmas and holiday shopping for deals kicked off on Black Friday.

Most departments at  Macy’s in Citrus Park Mall were busy with shoppers, but one “quieter” area was the men’s department where cashier lines were shorter around 10:30 a.m. on Black Friday. Shoppers found items discounted 30-60 percent before 1 p.m. on Black Friday.

Many of the “Door Buster Sales” and Black Friday deals continue Saturday and through the weekend. Be sure to check the hours of “DB Sales” and best deals at stores. Some stores also will price-match items, if you bring a competitor’s ad or have it on your smartphone.

Saturday, Nov. 29th, also is Small Business Day to remember local small businesses. Make purchases of $10 or more at 3 businesses or restaurants on Saturday — and get $10 back from each small business participating in the American Express program on Small Business Saturday.  Go online for more information about registering your AMEX card and a list of  participating local small businesses. Local small businesses also will  have discounted and special events on Saturday and Sunday for customers.

Some other shopping tips:

1. Bring coupons and stick to your shopping list.  Otherwise, you will buy more than you need.

2.  Save receipts because stores may lower prices before Christmas for returns.  Check store prices online frequently between now and Dec. 24th.

3. Sleep in and arrive by 10 a.m. for a good parking space and smaller crowds at the mall.   Shopping between 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. was a good time for us on Black Friday before waves of shoppers arrived later in the day.

4. If you prefer to avoid the malls and stores, there’s always shopping online on Cyber Monday.

5.  To save gas and running around in search of your bargain, check online to see if the item is in stock during this weekend. Ask stores to hold items for you.

More Hillsborough County Sheriff’s deputies also are patrolling mall parking lots and nearby. Law enforcement signs on Gunn Highway near Westfield Citrus Park Mall also  warn drivers and shoppers of “covert patrols”and to “keep your valuables out of sight” when shopping this holiday season. The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office recommends not shopping alone, locking your home and vehicle, closing garage doors and storing purchases out of sight of burglars and thieves roaming shopping and parking areas and neighborhoods. The HCSO also advises paying with debit/credit cards, carrying less cash and wearing less jewelry when shopping.

Watch out for your neighbors if they are expecting deliveries, packages at their homes.

If you see suspicious activity, call HCSO at 813-247-8200.


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