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Local shops fill up for Small Business Saturday

Nicole A. Hawley
Staff writer
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Posted 11/26/22

Whether it was Rome's Downtown Arts District or the quaint business district in the middle of the Village of Clinton, streets were bustling with those shopping small on Saturday.

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Local shops fill up for Small Business Saturday

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Whether it was Rome's Downtown Arts District or the quaint business district in the middle of the Village of Clinton, streets were bustling with those shopping small on Saturday.

The Saturday after Thanksgiving has traditionally been known nationally as Small Business Saturday for more than a decade, encouraging shoppers the day after Black Friday to check out local shops and support small businesses in the community.

For the second consecutive year, Adam Prescott Chrisman, owner of the Copper Easel at 216 W. Dominick St., Rome, has organized other small business owners in the Downtown Arts District to showcase their wares and talents on Small Business Saturday. Artisans were selling their crafts and jewelry at his shop or had booths set up inside the Cinema Capitol Gallery, like Kustom Shop Creations and Garden Girl Studio.

Rome's Small Business Saturday event also featured a "passport promotion" where shop visitors received a stamp for each business visited, and once they reached six, they qualified to be entered into a drawing for special gift certificates.

"We've had good traffic today," said Prescott Chrisman of those who came to shop at The Copper Easel and grab a specialty drink or coffee at the adjoining superofficial. "What this event does is expose people to businesses downtown that we want them to come see. We want people to see that there's some diverse stuff downtown. People need to be doing as much as they can to shop and support their own community."

In Clinton, Stephanie Witusik was celebrating her first holiday season in business with her Evolve shop at 16 College St. Her store was formerly located in Whitesboro.

Witusik said that the community's support of her business, especially at the Holiday Shoppers' Stroll the night before, has been so great that she and her husband are thinking about moving there.

"It's been awesome, everyone here is so supportive," and for the Shoppers' Stroll, "we didn't expect it to be as busy as it turned out to be, which was amazing, Witusik said. "We had never been here for the parade and that was super cool. Our goal here at the shop is to offer anything you need with sustainable and local gifts."

Being her third holiday season and her second time participating in the Shoppers' Stroll and Small Business Saturday, Amity Messett, owner of The Rainbow Cupboard at 4 College St. and Dreamy's Candy Shop at 11 W. Park Row, said it meant a lot to see people out supporting their local businesses.

"Last night it was amazing, and for the parade, people were five rows deep all along each street for the parade," said Messett. "Someone shared with me that they traveled by one of the big box stores close by, and their parking lot was empty last night. So many people came out, and for today, the store has been packed, which is a beautiful problem to have."

She said, "And if people want something unique — not your basic 'cookie-cutter' item — then they should come down here to Clinton, and all the shop windows are done up so great — they're 'Christmasy' and happy."

It was that special shopping experience that Carol Key traveled all the way from Cherry Valley in Otsego County to come out and enjoy Saturday.

"You just see so much nice stuff when you shop local," Key said. "There's even homemade gifts and some of those gifts give you ideas for your own homemade crafts. And the weather is so gorgeous, it would be a shame to be inside, in a mall, today."

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