Alena Maschke writes about all things business and beyond for the Long Beach Business Journal/Long Beach Post. Born and raised in Germany, she first fell in love with California during an exchange year at UCLA. After receiving her master's degree in journalism from Columbia University in 2017, she returned to the Golden State with an appetite for great stories, pupusas and the occasional Michelada.

Preparations for Small Business Saturday are underway in Long Beach

On Nov. 27, shoppers are encouraged to skip the trip to chain stores and shop with their local small businesses instead. To help sweeten the deal, business improvement districts across the city have come up with activities that give shoppers an opportunity to learn more about the locally owned businesses in their area and even win gift cards for shopping there.