Bicoastal marketing and public relations firm mdg (Marketing Design Group) challenged its employees to shop small this Small Business Saturday, reimbursing participants for a portion of their purchases, as a way to support other small businesses in their communities. Twenty-four mdg employees, spanning three locations, joined the Small Business Saturday movement and patronized shops related to industries served by agency clients, including craft beverage, local restaurants and bakeries, gift shops and pet retail.

Founded in 1976, mdg has expanded from a small creative firm based in San Diego to the nation’s leading full-service marketing, research and public relations agency serving event and association clients, with additional offices in Washington, D.C. and Reston, Virginia. Having grown from a humble eleven employees in 2010 to 43 employees in 2014, co-owners Kimberly Hardcastle-Geddes and Vincent Polito felt compelled to spread the love this holiday season.

“An integral tenant of mdg’s culture is giving back” explains mdg President, Kimberly Hardcastle-Geddes. “Reflecting on the successes and growth of the past year, mdg has so much to be thankful for. We wanted to give a grateful nod to our clients, our employees and our communities who have fueled our success by supporting theirs.”

mdg employees who participated in Small Business Saturday were simply required to take a picture of their purchases, which included items ranging from hand-crafted jewelry, local brewery and winery tastings, and homemade sweets and treats to pet toys for Fido, and submit their receipts for reimbursement.