The holidays are here, and while family and friends will gather on Thanksgiving for a hearty meal and to reflect on all we have to be grateful for, other “holidays” are happening after Thanksgiving.

Black Friday deals always send millions out shopping on the day after Thanksgiving—or even on Thanksgiving, as some stores start promotions then.

Black Friday often results in chaos at big-box stores. Small Business Saturday, however, offers a better, if not healthier, way to shop, and the local business scene will have plenty going on.

The Morgan Park Beverly Hills Business Association (MPBHBA) is hosting a Holiday Bingo kick-off event on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 30. A welcome center will be set up at Ain’t She Sweet Cafe, 9920 S. Western Ave., between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

In addition to “Shop Small” tote bags, the center will feature complimentary coffee and pastries, holiday music and game cards for the Bingo promotion, which rewards shoppers with prizes for shopping locally this holiday season.

According to the MPBHBA, the promotion will run through December. When consumers make a purchase at participating businesses, they earn a stamp on their bingo cards.

This will be the 10th annual Small Business Saturday, and it was founded by American Express in 2010—in the middle of an economic recession.

In 2011, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution supporting the day, and all 50 states participated. According to American Express, about $103 billion has been spent during the nine editions of Small Business Saturday.

Local residents can also support local causes on that Saturday by participating in the Beverly Hills Turkey Trot 5K Run and Family Walk, which supports the 19th Ward Youth Foundation and the John McNicholas Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, which is named in memory of a teen from Beverly.

Packet pick-up for the Turkey Trot, which makes its way through North Beverly, continues this week, with Running Excels, 10328 S. Western Ave., hosting pick-ups on Friday, Nov. 29, from 1 to 7 p.m.

Participants can start their local shopping the day of the trot by enjoying a pancake breakfast hosted by The Original Pancake House-Beverly in the Christ the King parish gym.

During a season of giving thanks, it never hurts to give back to the local community.

For more information on Holiday Bingo, including a list of participating businesses, visit

For more information on the Beverly Hills Turkey Trot, visit