By Jeb Bladine • President / Publisher • 

Bladine: Lots of time to meet community's needs

It was no surprise that annual promotions for post-Thanksgiving spending were magnified by COVID-2020, with so many financially challenged businesses and organizations competing for support from so many people, including those financially challenged themselves.

But take heart; there’s plenty of time to respond to those needs.


Jeb Bladine is president and publisher of the News-Register.

> See his column

First came Thanksgiving, a favorite family holiday turned surreal this year by intrusions of the coronavirus pandemic. Then Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, marking the official start of the holiday shopping season – a time when retailers go “into the black” for the year.

Few remember that Black Friday dates back to 1859, when an act of manipulation caused a stock market crash … or that for many years it labeled the day between Thanksgiving and the Army-Navy game.

Black Friday mobs at stores were reduced by the 2005 launch of Cyber Monday to promote online holiday shopping. Caught between those hyper-shopping promotions, small retailers across America suffered.

American Express responded in 2010 by introducing Small Business Saturday, recognizing the importance of small businesses to America’s economy and quality of life. This year, that promotion was muted by the COVID-19 virus, but don’t lose that thought.

Charitable nonprofits, seeing so much revenue responding to commercialization, came together to promote Giving Tuesday, branded by a 2012 partnership between Manhattan’s 92nd Street Y and the United National Foundation. An explosion of local giving campaigns were promoted this week, including the annual Season of Giving publication in today’s newspaper.

Here’s the real message: There’s still time.

You can shop at small local businesses year-round. You can donate to local charities on any Tuesday or in any month. You can order take-out meals through the holiday season – and beyond – from local restaurants whose survival may depend on providing those services. You can reduce online shopping by first investigating local availability of items.

There long has been a special love of downtown McMinnville as a vibrant core of the city, but one hit hard by the pandemic. Supporters of downtown have been buying gift cards usable at dozens of businesses, a program found on the McMinnville Downtown Association website.

The pandemic will subside in 2021, but needs of local retailers, hospitality service providers, charities and others will remain high for months to come. Look for opportunities to help them, and not just in the feel-good holiday season.

So, if you missed Small Business Saturday and/or Giving Tuesday, just make good on those in the months to come.

Jeb Bladine can be reached at or 503-687-1223.


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