Are you a local shopper? It's easy to be one in Wellesley and coming up a week from Saturday it's a national holiday of sorts for those who enjoy spending dollars nearby.
Yes, we have "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday." Now comes "Small Business Saturday", on Nov. 26. Its name says it all: shop small! If you're going to shop anyway, then stimulate the local economy. American Express is offering an incentive too. Shoppers are eligible for $25 back if they register their card via the Facebook page.
The list of "small shopping" in Wellesley is big. Several small businesses rely on the holiday season to sustain their brick and mortar existences. In this down economy, if residents shop small, it will be huge. In addition to the effort to support small business, this year, shoppers will get a break when they try to park along Central Street in and near Wellesley Square. The Board of Selectmen has agreed that parking meter fees will be waived for the two weeks leading up to Christmas, as well as the week after Christmas. Parking meters will carry special holiday stickers reminding drivers that parking is complimentary, so watch for those in December.
Local Small Business in Wellesley to support on "Small Business Saturday" include:
Wellesley's Holiday Boutique is the annual pop-up store that this year occupies the old Clark's location on Central Street.
Tomorrow at London Harness Co. shoppers can do some charitable shopping, by participating in the "Travel the World With London Harness" in a benefit sale that send a percent of proceeds to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
One of the newest small businesses in Wellesley opened this fall. It's Pine Straw on Washington Street, a gift shop offering a unique shopping experience. Owner and Wellesley resident Tracy Cranley tells me that she's opening new inventory all of the time, and while her store "doesn't scream holidays," it is a non-stressful environment offering lots of gift items.
If you want to support local businesses AND Wellesley's public schools, then head to the Wellesley Chamber of Commerce event this weekend at Babson College, from 5 to 8 p.m. The chamber's "Shop Wellesley First" silent auction will offer more than 100 Wellesley-related goods and services, even Boston Red Sox tickets for next season. If you go, you'll be doing good too. Proceeds will benefit the Wellesley Education Foundation, which we can all get behind.
Buying gift certificates for the holidays at stand alone stores like Wellesley Books (formerly Wellesley Booksmith), The Wellesley Toy Shop, Wasik's Cheese Shop, Bonsoir, Blue Ginger, Cafe Mangal, The Cottage and Truly Yogurt also puts you in the local-shopper category. Plus, Wellesley has European Manor, Comina, Anderson's Jewelers among its small businesses to support.
For true local shopping even AFTER "Small Business Saturday," mark Sunday, Dec. 4 on your calendar. That's the date of the annual "Wellesley Holiday Stroll." For a visit with Santa, a window decorating contest, and a chance to see downtown in a holiday light, proceeds will help pay for the annual decorations and wreaths that brighten Wellesley.
It has been a difficult year for local businesses in Wellesley. One need look no further than the empty storefronts around town to know that. But, thanks to Wellesley's own Laura Fragasso, even empty stores are serving a purpose in the community.
The Wellesley Community Art Project shows off the art that is being produced in our midst, whether it is by school children, or students at the local colleges. You can't help but get some inspiration from the exhibits, so don't miss them ! Happy shopping.