MONTCLAIR, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — With the holidays fast approaching, you may be thinking about getting gifts.
On Monday, CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis spoke to business owners in New Jersey who say shopping local is more important than ever this holiday season.
In downtown Montclair, alongside holiday decor, are pictures of small business owners. They are a reminder of who you are supporting when you shop at stores like East Side Mags.
“The money that you spend with us goes to pay my employees and help them buy holiday gifts for their family. It goes to me to help feed my family and pay our mortgage,” said East Side Mags owner Jeff Beck.
In return, Beck promises a personalized experience to those who visit his comic book store, or prefer personal shopping at a distance.
“They can call up or message us on social media and say, ‘Hey, my son is super into Spider-Man, you know, I really want to get them something cool. Do you have any suggestions?'” Beck said.
He’s asking you to think outside the big box store this holiday season.
“You can find something on Amazon, or the Walmart website and then screenshot it and see if your local shop has it or can order it,” Beck said. “There’s no more direct funnel back into your own community than shopping locally.”
Lisa Johnson, the owner of Culture Couture understands people may be worried about crowds, so she’s taking appointments before and after store hours.
“I think that’s something that everybody should reach out to their favorite businesses and ask them if that’s something they’re willing to offer,” Johnson said.
In Montclair, retail stores are staying open later on Thursdays, and on Small Business Saturday, two-hour free parking will begin through the holiday season.
They are just some of the efforts the Montclair Center Business Improvement District hopes helps mom and pops in the coming weeks.
“There are some retailers that they do 40% of the business they do throughout the year during the holiday season,” said Jason Gleason, Exec. Director of Montclair Center BID.
“At the risk of sounding like a social media meme [that] floats around this time of year: Think small. Think, you know, shop small,” Beck said.
Especially at a time and in a year small businesses need it most.
Small business owners also say a great way to get the word out is by leaving positive reviews online and sharing their social media posts.
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