Shop in Oakland during 'Plaid Friday Weekend'

-   Many Oakland businesses are hoping that shoppers will stay out of the Big Box stores and shop locally in what the city has designated "Plaid Friday Weekend." 

More than 200 retailers and other businesses are participating, giving shoppers an option to big-box retail stores and the malls. 
   City officials said Plaid Friday was an Oakland idea originally and has now spread to other cities in the U.S.   Plaid Friday founder Kerri Johnson said in a statement, "The idea behind Plaid Friday is that small businesses are like the individual threads that together create a strong fabric and community." 

 On Friday as well as Saturday and each Saturday through New Year's Day street meter parking will be free for the period posted on the meter.

City officials said spending a dollar at a local business improves the city's economy three times as much as a dollar spent at chain store and 50 times as much as a dollar spent at an online mega-retailer. 

Shoppers can see specific offers from businesses at 

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