Black Friday and Cyber Monday are well known deal-hunting days to pick up gifts for the holidays. They even come with a little controversy, frowned upon for exploitation of employees along with focus on big-box stores that benefit a few individuals instead of whole communities.
In an effort to redirect holiday money back to local economies, many organizations and communities now encourage folks to “shop small.”
After LocalShops1’s annual, weekend-long Shopapalooza was canceled, founder Ester Venouziou focused efforts on a one-day Shop Small Holiday Market in Gulfport.
Over 100 local businesses benefited from Saturday’s event.
“We’re so grateful for the support of all the shoppers who came out to support local makers and small businesses,” Venouziou told the Gabber. “This was a much needed boost – not only financial, but also emotional, and it came at a time when so many of us needed it the most. Please remember to continue to support local as much as you can.”
“I want to give big thanks and appreciation to LocalShops1 and SIK Promotions,” said GMC President Barbara Banno. “They really aligned with our mission at the GMC, which is to bring business to our brick-and-mortar small business and I think all the businesses on the street would agree they saw an increase in business from this weekend’s event.”
The event was a hit.
“Everything was perfect: the weather, the vendors and the event,” said Banno. “It just had this energy; it gave us a taste of normalcy that I think made it seem so much better.”
SIK Promotions founder Suzie King echoed Banno’s sentiments: “It brought some normalcy and we supported small businesses. That was the whole point.”
Mother-daughter participants Spencer and Angie Goodwin, of Spenny Lane, originally signed on as Shopapalooza vendors.
“We had a wonderful day at the event,” said Spencer. “It was technically supposed to replace Shopapalooza, so we were bummed that the event did not happen, but grateful to have had another market to pop up at.”
Other vendors were also happy to finally be out on the streets and back in the public eye.
“We were very pleased with the event yesterday. It was very well organized and participation was very good, but also safe with plenty of open space,” said President of Skyway Dachshund Rescue, Inc. Stephanie Boyle. “We were very excited to be able to participate as this year has been pretty tough for us and so many others, especially small vendors.
“Most of our fundraising is done through community events,” Boyle continued, “and since this is only the second event, and by far the largest, for us since the pandemic it was very key to our efforts to raise funds to cover the medical costs of the little ones entrusted to us. It was truly a lovely day.”
Find these local vendors and many more at localshops1.com.