NORWICH – As another holiday shopping season draws near, Chenango County merchants are gearing up to promote shopping local during what local retailers hope will be a successful year for small businesses county-wide.
Holiday sales are expected to top $586 billion this year, according to the National Federation of Retailers. Although big-box stores are actively touting holiday sales, opening their doors earlier than ever for Black Friday – some as early as 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving – many local merchants are pulling out the stops to reap some of the benefits of the busiest shopping time of the year.
“I’m very excited about the upcoming holiday shopping season for the local merchants. They’ve been working hard at getting the message out about shopping local,” said Norwich Business Improvement District Director Roz DeRensis. In addition to crediting the work of local merchants, DeRensis also emphasized the community benefits of shopping local this holiday season. “The reminder to shop local and support local businesses who also support the area where we live helps us to build a better community, and better health and wealth,” she said.
While the Black Friday money saving bargains of chain retailers has drawn so much attention over the years, Small Business Saturday has recently gained significant momentum, thanks in part to nationwide sponsorship from American Express. For local merchants, Small Business Saturday is a chance to showcase the best they have to offer and prompt consumers to keep their money local. In Norwich, several merchants have teamed up for the annual shop local campaign from the Norwich Merchants Association (NMA).