With holiday shopping gearing up for the Christmas season, the Socorro City Council encourages residents to support local businesses.

A proclamation designating Saturday, Nov. 26, as Small Business Saturday was signed by Mayor Pro Tem Gordy Hicks at the last council meeting.

It’s the day after Black Friday, and a good time to “celebrate our local small businesses and the contributions they make to our local economy and community,” the proclamation states.

“We urge the residents of our community to support small businesses and merchants on Small Business Saturday,” Hicks said.

Joyann Miler of Alamo Gallery & Gifts, 1008 California St., said the booths and stalls in what’s been referred to as Socorro’s first shopping mall is a good place to start.

“That’s mainly because of the variety of art and gifts that are represented here,” Miler said. “The variety of works range from paintings in watercolor, oils, pastels, and pen and ink, to pottery, photography, jewelry as well as handmade wooden furniture and accessories, glass and ceramic dishes and bowls, good-health products, and books.”

The gallery also hosts the Friends of El Camino Real Historic Trail Gift Store and the historic photographs of Socorro’s well-known photographer J. E. Smith.

“There is a variety of jewelry, scarves, tie-dye, rocks, toys, and collectibles,” Miler said. “We also have artists who offer photo restoration and flowers for the occasions in life.”

Alamo Gallery & Gifts opened was opened in November 2009 by the arts group Socorro County Arts. The main goal was to provide artists with a place to show and sell their artistic creations. The gallery now has over 40 artists, crafters and other vendors, including Native American creations.

“It is the perfect place to find a gift,” Miler said.

John Lee, president of the Magdalena Chamber of Commerce, said Tumbleweeds Diner and ES-PRESS-O Coffee Shop will be open the day after Black Friday, as well as several of the shops along Highway 60.

“The Marketplace on Main Street is a great place for finding that perfect gift,” he said. “La Posada Gallery on Highway 60 will also be open with fine art and photography, and don’t forget Wini Labrecque’s weavings.”

The Small Business Saturday event was founded by American Express in 2010 and has been officially co-sponsored by the Small Business Administration since 2011.

According to the Small Business Administration, there are 32.5 million small businesses in the United States, small businesses represent 99.7 percent of firms with paid employees, small businesses are responsible for 62 percent of net new jobs created since 1995, and small businesses employ 46.8 percent of the employees in the private sector in the U.S.