Around Town

City businesses set sights on Shop Small Movement

WESTFIELD-Area residents are once again asked to join the Shop Small Movement during the holiday season, and in the city, a new fun and unique promotion is slated Nov. 29-30.

Small Business Saturday, now in its 10th year, was conceived by American Express during the midst of the recession in 2010 to encourage people to “shop small” on the Saturday after Thanksgiving and bring more holiday shopping to small businesses. In 2011, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution in support of the day, and officials in all 50 states participate. Over the years, the promotion has grown into the Shop Small Movement.

“The Chamber recognizes the importance of supporting local businesses, the jobs they provide, and the culture they instill in local communities and is excited about promoting this event,” said Kate Phelon, executive director, Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce. “While American Express has changed their model this year to shop small every day, we decided to keep it on the historical Saturday after Thanksgiving.”

A game board, similar to a Monopoly format, features 40 local businesses that have joined forces with the Westfield Chamber in support of “Shop Small.

For months, local business owners have participated in two Chamber committees – game board and marketing – to bring to fruition a unique promotion that will encourage shoppers to visit at least 10 participating merchants and have their game board stamped to be eligible for cash prizes of $500, $300, and $150.

“We pulled volunteers from our quarterly held merchant meetings and created two committees,” said Phelon. “The Game Board Committee developed the idea of a monopoly board, as one printed years ago for a Westfield Monopoly game, and we loved the idea so much we adopted it to make it our own for Shop Small.”

Phelon thanked the media sponsor, The Original Pennysaver, to help shoppers get “in the game” by getting a game board which was printed in the Pennysaver on Nov. 21. 

“All businesses participating also have been given a poster board size of the game board to display in their windows, sponsored by Staples,” said Phelon.

Phelon noted there is no purchase necessary, however, area residents must be age 18 or older to win a prize. In addition, there will be five drop-off locations for shoppers to leave their entry form.

“For the Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce, the ‘Shop to Win’ is the first time we have an organized, well-marketed event for Shop Small Saturday,” said Phelon. “This game is designed to help shoppers shift their shopping to local, independent choices. It’s fun and easy to play.”

Participating merchants run the gamut from restaurants and jewelry stores to banks, gift shops and much more.

Anne Woodson, whose parents started George’s Jewelers, Inc. more than 50 years ago, was among the merchants who worked on the game board committee.

“I believe we are one of the longest, continually run family owned retail businesses in the city,” said Woodson. “We are excited to be a part of a fun event that supports downtown businesses. Everyone who stops in to see us will receive a warm welcome.”

Nicoll Vincent, owner and groomer of For K-9s & Felines, also served on the game board committee.

“I wanted to be a part of a fun and exciting event that would bring consumers and our small local businesses together,” said Vincent. “We are thankful for our clients who shop with us all year long, but Small Business Saturday is a day where we can celebrate and show our appreciation on a day dedicated to us.”

Vincent added that those fur babies who stop by with their owners can expect a sampling of treats, as well as treats and food samples to take home.

Jillian Knapp, owner of Rosewood Home & Gifts, said she too is “excited” to be a part of the game board promotion.

“What a great way to drive business into the downtown area,” said Knapp. “Customers can expect a gift with purchase over the weekend and each day we will be doing free swag bags filled with up to $50 worth of goodies.”

Knapp noted her boutique promotion is “first-come, first-serve while supplies last.”

Merchants also participating in the promotion include A Slight Edge Salon, Amelia Park Children’s Museum, Andrea York Photography, Betts Plumbing & Heating Supply, Blue Umbrella Books, Choice Health, Circuit Coffee, Fast Feet, Gaslight Barbers, and Genesis Spiritual Life Center. 

Businesses also participating include Greylock Insurance Agency, KeyBank, Martin’s Floor Covering, Mina’s Wine & Spirits, Munchy’s Malt Shop, New Horizon Bikes, Optimum Health Therapeutic Massage, Polish National Credit Union, Puffer’s Salon and Day Spa, Rocky’s Ace Hardware, Shortstop Bar & Grill, Skyline Trading Company, Staples, The Tavern Restaurant, Two Rivers Burrito Co., Vivid Hair Salon and Spa, Westfield Bank, Westfield on Weekends, Witalisz & Associates, Inc., and Your CBD Store.

“The concept of the game board has been embraced by the community,” said Phelon. “Each time you purchase a product or a service on ‘Main Street’ or brick and mortars, you are helping to pay the salary of a friend or neighbor and the small business owner to meet overhead.”

Phelon added that those visiting the merchants may discover goods and services they were unaware of in the city.

“The game board will give the community a jumpstart on holiday shopping with the potential for discounts,” said Phelon.

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