Before some turkeys are even done cooking today, plenty of stores will open for business, offering slashed prices and two-for-one “Black Friday” deals.
But the impact of holiday spending isn’t limited to big chain stores. Local business owners are hoping to drive customers to their shops on Small Business Saturday, the day after Black Friday.
Small Business Saturday participating merchants
Businesses around Schenectady that will offer some sort of promotion as part of Small Business Saturday:
Evergreen Olive Oil Co.
Experience and Creative Design
Flowers by Jo-Ann
Hartz Family Dry Cleaners
Head to Tail
Healing Path Massage
Home Style Pizza and Catering
Lennonâs Irish Shop
Majestic Hair Salon
New York Folklore Society
Open Door Bookstore
Puzzles Bakery and CafÃ©
Sondraâs Fine Jewelry
Sowâs Ear Studio and Gallery
YMCA Schenectady Branch
A couple dozen businesses in Schenectady will offer drawings, giveaways and promotions in an effort to encourage customers to shop locally. While the days after Thanksgiving are huge for big box stores, local leaders said it’s just as important to support locally owned establishments.
“Small businesses are the lifeblood of the community,” said Jim Salengo, executive director of the Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corp. “It’s people’s hardworking friends and neighbors putting their heart and soul into creating a more vibrant community.”
On Tuesday at Schenectady City Hall, Salengo joined leaders of the Capital Region Chamber and the Upper Union Street Business Improvement District to promote Small Business Saturday. This is the third year those groups have partnered to foster awareness of the national event.
Chris Mastroianni, chair of the Upper Union Street BID, said when customers shop locally, that money is often reinvested in the community through local hiring and the purchase of more supplies for the businesses.
Businesses across the city on Saturday will offer special promotions, and some will collect donations as part of the event. There are participants on Jay Street, Union Street, State Street and elsewhere.
Home Style Pizza, on Upper Union Street, will offer a “Pancakes With the Elves” event on Saturday morning, for example. The event includes a photo op with an elf, a deal on pancakes and an elf costume contest that includes prizes.
In addition, free parking will be available at all downtown lots on Friday and Saturday, including at the garage on Broadway, the Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority announced.
Stores around the Capital Region will take part in Small Business Saturday, including shops in Albany and Saratoga Springs. In addition, several stores along Broadway in Saratoga will offer Black Friday deals, starting at 6 a.m. Friday.
Richard Mare, owner of Downtown Designs and president of the Jay Street Business Association, said sales this time of year are especially important for independently owned stores.
“Other big stores have more revenue to fall back on, but for smaller businesses, we really depend on holiday revenue,” he said. “It makes up most of our yearly sales.”
In addition to Small Business Saturday promotions, there could soon be a holiday season addition on Jay Street. Mare said there are discussions about setting up a bazaar in the next couple weeks that would offer local crafts and goods.
The marketplace would operate at the storefront on Jay Street previously occupied by Hermie’s Music, which just relocated to Proctors.
Reach Gazette reporter Brett Samuels at 395-3113, [email protected] or @Brett_Samuels27 on Twitter.