ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- In October, the National Retail Federation predicted 2021 holiday spending would be at an all-time high with estimates between $843.4-$859 billion. This represents an 8.5-10.5% increase over 2020 holiday spending.
Local business organizations and Chambers of Commerce are hoping some of that money goes to small businesses. Many have put together special shopping events to attract customers on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.
Carolers will be serenading Small Business Saturday shoppers in Downtown Bennington. Santa will also be making appearances from 11 a.m.- 3 p.m. on Main, North, and South Streets. The Better Bennington Corporation said specials will be posted on their Instagram and Facebook pages.
“As the options for online shopping continue to expand, this event reminds everyone about the importance of shopping locally first,” Better Bennington Corporation, Executive Director, Jenny Dewar. “Our downtown is back, we are all beginning to decorate, and the shops are ready to welcome everyone back to shopping locally.”
The Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce will be holding random gift card drawings for shoppers who buy from 10 participating businesses from November 26 to December 20. Shoppers must turn in their cards, and receipts to the Chamber to be entered.
“The Holiday Shopping Card has been a popular go-to for many shoppers over the year,” said Chamber President Maureen McGuinness. “As businesses continue to recover from the past two years of slumping sales, this adds an economical incentive for them to get some additional promotion.”
The 2021 Holiday Shopping Card can be found in businesses throughout Bethlehem. They can also be picked up from the Chamber office in Delmar.
Small Business Saturday Holiday Craft Fair at the Nick Stoner Inn and 19th Hole, 1810 State Highway 10, Caroga Lake 12032, from 11 a.m.- 4 p.m. Lunch and drink specials with more than 20 vendors are expected at the event. The Grinch is also scheduled to make an appearance and Santa will be available for photos. For more information call (518) 844-5637.
Pittsfield will be bustling with events on Small Business Sunday. Thankful Hats purchased for $25 will earn shoppers special deals at downtown businesses. All the hat proceeds will be donated to food pantries in Pittsfield. They can be bought online or at the Berkshire Running Center, 34 Depot Street. For every hat sold, MountainOne will also donate an additional $5.
There will be a free 5K run (Thankful 5K) to start the festivities at 9 a.m. There will also be live music, makers market, treasure hunt, visit from Santa, and special deals at businesses throughout Downtown Pittsfield. Shoppers can download the Downtown Pittsfield app to help them get around. It includes a director and a map of downtown shops.
A list of all the day’s events can be found on the Downtown Pittsfield website. To register for the Thankful 5K, visit the Berkshire Running Center’s website.
Black Friday Saratoga organized by Network Saratoga, LLC will feature specials in a group of stores in Downtown Saratoga Springs. Businesses participating on Black Friday will have signs up indicating they are part of the event. Specials will continue at some locations on Small Business Saturday.
A list of all participating stores and deals can be found on the Black Friday Saratoga website. Shops that will be running specials on Small Business Saturday can also be found on the website.
“This year supply chain issues and delayed availability of popular items are expected to impact the delivery of gifts in time for the holidays,” said the owner of Network Saratoga and organizer of Black Friday Saratoga, Fran Dingeman. “An added benefit for shoppers is that they can walk away feeling good about supporting the local business economy and keeping their spending dollars local.”
The Children’s Museum at Saratoga (CMAS)
CMAS will also be participating in Small Business Saturday. The museum’s gift shop will be open from 9 a.m.- noon. “Support The Children’s Museum at Saratoga by doing your holiday shopping here! Our gift shop is filled with unique gifts and toys for the children in your life,” they said.
Saratoga Chocolate Company will be handing out gourmet hot chocolate in front of TA-DA and there will be complimentary carriage rides to shoppers on Small Business Saturday. A list of participating stores and specials can be found on the Stuyvesant Plaza website.
Guests will also have the opportunity to win a $1,000 Stuyvesant Plaza Shopping Spree. Carriage rides departing from Jean Paul Spa & Salons will be available each weekend from November 27 through December 19 from 1-4 p.m.
“We encourage everyone to visit Stuyvesant Plaza on Small Business Saturday for one-of-a-kind holiday shopping,” said Stuyvesant Plaza Vice President of Real Estate, Janet Kaplan. “With the return of free carriage rides and gourmet hot chocolate -something of a holiday tradition for us- we are reminded of all we have to celebrate as we welcome our customers to the Plaza.”
For a chance to win the shopping spree, visit Guest Services near Ten Thousand Villages. The contest will run from November 27-December 24. Guest Services is open seven days a week. A winner will be selected at random. No purchase is necessary and guests are limited to one entry. The prize will be able to be redeemed at up to five shops or restaurants at the Plaza.
Small Business Saturday is one of many events taking place in Downtown Troy during the holiday season. Beginning November 27, shoppers will be able to have their gifts wrapped for free through a collaboration between CDTA and Honest Weight Food Co-Op. Dates and locations can be found on the Downtown Troy website.
Some stores will be offering early shoppers free winter-themed Shop Troy tote bags printed by Troy Cloth and Paper with qualifying purchases. There is free parking on evenings and weekends.
“More than ever, it’s crucial to shop local this holiday season,” said Downtown Troy Business Improvement District (BID) Executive Director, Geoff Brault. “Shopping local means no supply chain issues and no worries if your gift will arrive on time through the mail. It also means you’ll be gifting more than a quality item, but a story and an experience that your friends and family will cherish for years to come.”