ST. JOSEPH – Small businesses in St. Joseph are encouraging central Minnesotans to spend their money locally this weekend.

The annual Shop Small Crawl, normally a one-day affair, will take place from Friday through Sunday at independently-owned shops and restaurants throughout St. Joseph.

Mary Bruno, owner of print shop Bruno Press, is the driving force behind the holiday shopping event, which launched about eight years ago. Bruno says this year, the days and hours of the event have been extended to give shoppers the ability to distance themselves from one another and help shops maintain proper spread-reducing capacity restrictions.

Bruno says the Shop Small Crawl is typically planned six to eight months in advance and is a major profit generator for the community's shops, restaurants, breweries and artists.

“We recognize that we can’t have a year go by without it happening at all,” she said. “This year is really dire for a lot of us small businesses. For a lot of us, the Shop Small Crawl is a quarter of our annual income.”

Unlike previous Shop Small Crawls, this year’s event will be hosted independently by each participating business. Some shops and restaurants will feature the work of local artists for sale.

“We’re just really trying to, over and over and over again, repeat ‘keep your money in the local economy’ and shop small,” Bruno said. “Places like Bad Habit, and Milk and Honey, and Krewe, and Bello Cucina – they’re all going to be doing curbside.”

Bruno says each business is responsible for enforcing its own safety guidelines. For her part, Bruno is offering shoppers the option to book time in her print shop ahead of time or shop online. Shoppers are encouraged to visit St. Joe businesses’ websites and social media pages or call ahead for more information.

The Shop Small Crawl will take place Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Central Minnesota Christmas Tree Farms