Leila Crockett wants to give you a bag of pencils, pens, papers, and other useful swag just for coming in to shop at your local small business.
In her case, the colorful Artist and Craftsman store on Chapel Street.
The occasion is this Saturday, Nov. 25, the fourth year New Haven is participating in national Small Business Saturday.
The event celebrates, honors, and, so hope the organizers, stimulates buying all that holiday stuff not in big-box stores but locally.
That was tge message conveyed at a press conference at Artist and Craftsman Monday afternoon by Mayor Toni Harp, Town Green District Executive Director Win Davis, and small business owners participating in the initiative.
The city, Town Green District, and the Shops at Yale are teaming up to offer a range of gifts, discounts, promotions, and free and reduced parking beginning on the Saturday kick-off and running, for the first time, through the holiday season.
About 73 percent of businesses downtown are locally owned and operated, reported Davis.
A business that is locally owned is frequently supplied by other local businesses, supported by local banks, and employs local employees, with the result that shopping local keeps capital local, said the mayor.
That translates into 60 cents of every dollar spent at a small business staying in the community, as opposed to only four cents of every dollar spent in a big box store, added Davis.
To increase community participation, the city is offering one hour of free parking in every metered spot in the city on the kick-off Saturday. You access that by going to the GoNewHaven parking app.
Park New Haven is also offering all day parking on the Saturday for $3 at the garages at 255 Crown; 161 York, and 56 Broadway; and reduced off-street parking from Nov. 24 through Dec. 24.
If buy your stocking stuffers, books, clothing, any items at all amounting to $30 or more from any of the Shops at Yale, your parking will be free for up to four hours on the day of purchase, said local small business owner Kimberly Pedrick. That obtains from Friday, Nov. 24 to Sunday Dec. 24 at 255 Crown Street garage, 161 York Street, and 56 Broadway.
Pedrick is the owner of Idiom Boutique on Chapel Street and is the merchant presiding over Small Business Saturday and the holiday special events.
Those will include special raffles, ice carving, appearances by Santa and Dreidel Man, along with horse and carriage rides on Dec. 3, 10, and 17.
Chamber of Commerce President Tony Rescigno had a clear message about the day and the campaign, especially to city office workers.
He called on local workers to leave their “offices at lunch time and shop for presents right here. Don’t go to the large box stores.”
More details are available at infonewhaven.com/shopsmall.