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Small Business Saturday, an idea conceived by American Express to get shoppers out to local businesses the Saturday after Black Friday nationwide, is coming to Alden for the first time on Saturday, Nov. 30.

Residents are being encouraged to shop local on that day, and the Town Board presented a proclamation to that effect at Monday night’s board meeting.

“Small businesses are the heartbeat of our community,” Supervisor Harry “Bud” Milligan said, reading the proclamation. “They are the corner stores that create jobs, the hardware stores that build our economy and the shops whose very presence makes our neighborhood.”

Small Business Saturday started in 2010, but this is the first time it is being held in Alden, Town Attorney Jennifer L. Strong said.

“This is the first time the Alden Chamber of Commerce organized to do it,” she said.

While preparations are just getting started, businesses in the town seem eager to participate, Strong said.

“I think there has been excitement about it,” she said.

The proclamation goes on to officially declare Nov. 30 as Small Business Saturday in the town, and “urges all Alden citizens to support their community by shopping at Alden-based businesses.”

In other board news, Councilwoman Mary Riddoch met with representatives from the Community Block Development Grant program last week to discuss what the town would do with the grant. The town is looking to replace the van used for transporting seniors to various programs and appointments.

“Hopefully it went well and we get our senior van,” Riddoch said.

There are several towns who split four or five vans in the area, Milligan said, and it is something the town should consider, he said.

“Do they only have the van one day a week?,” Riddoch asked.

“I don’t know how it works,” Milligan said, “but I think it’s something we should look at. I’m going to find out more about it.”

Around 20 high school students attended Monday night’s meeting. Milligan took the opportunity to ask the students to consider serving the community.

“I’m so happy to see all of these smiling faces out there,” he said. “I would just like to say to you, young people, as you do get older and get in the community, give back to any community you live in.”