More than a dozen downtown Wilkes-Barre shops and restaurants to take part in Small Business Saturday on Nov. 28
WILKES-BARRE — Black Friday. It’s almost here.
Before Thanksgiving dinner is finished, big box retail stores open doors boasting incredible sales. Lines grow, as does customers’ frustration.
But there is an alternative, one that allows for some family time and a local benefit: Small Business Saturday.
Diamond City Partnership has teamed up with the Downtown Wilkes-Barre Business Association since 2013 to promote the event and the downtown shopping scene. John Maday, president of the business association, said he hopes the small business event will provide a more relaxing opportunity for holiday shoppers, one that will continue year round.
“It’s a pretty nice experience. You’re able to park, walk around and shop and get some really unique items. We want people to get used to this as a nice alternative,” he said. “Think about it. You can go to the mall and it can be quite a chaotic experience. Shopping downtown can offer a more relaxed environment.”
Started by American Express in 2010, the concept of Small Business Saturday is simple: spend money locally and support the small shops during the busiest shopping time of the year.
“This is something we’ve been doing for a couple of years in downtown Wilkes-Barre,” said Larry Newman, executive director of Diamond City Partnership. “We really are embracing this program because we have such a variety of local merchants. It’s a great way to call attention to the businesses, not just around the holidays, but year round as well.”
On Saturday, Nov. 28, more than a dozen local retail shops and restaurants will offer specials and discounts to shoppers.
Among some of the participating vendors are Anthracite Newsstand, Around Town Bicycles, Butler Eye Care, Knot Just Any Day, Bee Hive Gift Shop, Shambala, Oz Pizza and the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts.
Patty Leighton, owner of Bee Hive Gift Shop on South Main Street, said she’s been participating in Small Business Saturday since its inception and has consistently seen growth in foot traffic and sales.
“Already people are coming up to me, my customers are coming up to me, and telling me that they’re going to see me on Saturday,” she said. “I have 20 percent off sales in the store all day. It’s also my way of saying thank you to the customers who support me throughout the year.”
Steve Husted and Bridget Giunta, owners of Knot Just Any Day, will celebrate their brick and mortar shop and use the event to create one-on-one moments with customers.
“We’re excited to join the ranks with some of our favorite local shop owners,” Husted said. “We like the handmade end of it. People can get something that means a little bit more to them. They can pick up something that’s unique and special for someone.”
Knot Just Any Day will also have a spot in the lobby at the Kirby Center along with other local artists. Anne Rodella, director of sales and marketing for the Kirby Center, said the performing arts venue always has its box office open on Small Business Saturday, but this year, they’ve expanded to include a holiday wonderland filled with kids activities, music and more.
“We’re going to have a holiday film festival and a holiday art market,” Rodella said. “We’ll have local artists in the lobby from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., we’ll have holiday music and there will be a tree lighting at 6 p.m.”
There will be a paper ornament-making station for children. The tree will be adorned with ornaments prior to the 6 p.m. lighting.
Shopping local causes a ripple effect in the economy, according to Rodella and Maday.
“For every $100 spent in a locally owned business, more than $60 stays within that local community,” Rodella said. “For larger businesses, about $40 stays in the community.”
Echoing those sentiments, Maday said: “The economic ripple effect can be amazing. The more people spend downtown, or spend locally, the more tax revenue is raised. If you’ve got some people walking around, that will attract more and more people to stop and walk around downtown.”
Maps showing the locations of all the shops and restaurants participating in Small Business Saturday will be available at the Kirby Center as well as other participating venues.
A full list of participating shops will be released on Nov. 23 in addition to specific deals and specials that each store or restaurant will offer. Information will be available on the partnership’s website, wbdcp.org or at timesleader.com.
Reach Sarah Haase at 570-991-6111 or at [email protected]
Here’s a run down of promotions offered on Nov. 28:
Alpine Eatery: From 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., 10 percent off all orders
Anthracite, Not Just A Newsstand: From 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., purchase $20 in Christmas Instant Tickets and receive a free $1 ticket of your choice, also, free brownies with any food purchase.
Around Town Bicycles, Inc.: From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., 10 percent off bicycles and 20 percent off accessories. ATB coffee on sale for $8.99.
Bart & Urby’s: From 2 p.m. to 2 a.m., take 15 percent off any regularly priced food item.
Beehive Gift Shop: From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., take 20 percent off all purchases. Free gift with purchase.
Butler Eyecare: From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., take 50 percent off. There will be an iPad mini giveaway.
City Cuts: Take 50 percent off all products.
El Zocalo: From noon to 9 p.m. take $5 off purchases of $25 or more.
F.M. Kirby Center: From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., take 15 percent off participating shows.
Frank’s Pizzaria & Ristorante: From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., take 15 percent off your entire food bill.
Iorio’s Fine Jewelry: From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., take 10 percent off sterling silver jewelry, watches.
Januzzi’s Pizza: From 10:30 a.m. to midnight, take 10 percent off pick-up and dine-in orders.
Knot Just Any Day: From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., greetings cards are 3 for $10, holiday photo sessions are buy one get one half off and make and take crafts available.
Le Manhattan Bistro: Ten percent off dinner.
Marquis Art and Frame: From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. take 20 percent off custom framing.
Oz’s Pizza: From 11 a.m. to midnight 14-inch pizzas are $6.99.
Shambala: From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. take 20 percent off select items and 10 percent off purchases of $10 or more on non sale items.